The Evolution of Global Instant Payment Infrastructure
24 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 10, 2020
Global instant payment and its underlying infrastructure evolution are commonly referred to as fragmentation, with the proliferation of local instant payment systems, or consolidation, with few global instant payment systems prevailing. Even though these evolution views and related management practices are valuable, they emphasize linear and conflict-oriented evolution perspectives that undermine the possibility of progressive fragmentation and consolidation. Conversely, this paper introduces three mechanisms, transactional, modular, and institutional, as well as three related qualities, service layers, service granularity, and service integration, that characterize the evolution of global instant payment infrastructure. Drawing upon four global payment case studies, the paper illustrates evolution patterns that emerge with the mutual and reinforcing influence between these evolution mechanisms and qualities. We find that the evolution of global instant payment infrastructure is taking place with the creation, and integration, of context-specific payment services, and the reduction of layers in payment services. This perspective revisits the fragmentation vis-à-vis consolidation arguments in favor of evolution patterns, which account for progressive fragmentation and consolidation of global instant payment infrastructure.
Keywords: Global Instant Payment, Infrastructure, Technology, Evolution, Case Study
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