Research & Analysis

Instant Payments and Merchants — Pricing Policy Considerations


  • This technical note helps explain why changes in instant payment pricing are occurring, assesses their impact on market development, and offers suggestions for the path forward.
  • When it comes to instant payments, schemes and regulators are increasingly using pricing intervention as a market-building tool.
  • For schemes/regulators looking to help scale instant merchant payments, leaving out fee-sharing and letting competitive markets determine pricing is likely the best solution, in certain contexts.
  • Tools beyond pricing intervention, such as subsidies and incentives, and enablers, such as tiered due diligence and digital onboarding, should also be considered in promoting low-cost transactions.

Related Resources


This technical note is framed to help policymakers and payment system operators understand recent trends in payment initiation and customer experience in making interoperable payments work better for low-income populations.

Interoperability can make digital payments more convenient for customers and encourage competition in financial services. This technical guide is a practical resource for policy makers, providers, and others working toward interoperability in instant payments.

This technical note helps funders to understand the concept of interoperability, how instant payments systems can advance financial inclusion, and what funders can do to support their development.
Blog Series

Interoperability, the ability for systems to connect and work together, allows for e-mails that pass effortlessly around the world and trains that travel between cities no matter who laid the tracks. Yet interoperability remains largely absent from the financial services used