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落后中国多年,美国即时支付姗姗来迟 | 经济学人财经

落后中国多年,美国即时支付姗姗来迟 | 经济学人财经

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May Li,男,我要去追逐心中的太阳,还要继续努力的亚古兽


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听力|精读|翻译|词组

Finance and economics | FedLate

财经板块|姗姗来迟的即时支付系统

英文部分选自经济学人20230715期财经版块

Finance and economics | FedLate

财经板块|姗姗来迟的即时支付系统


Instant payments finally reach America with FedNow

美国即时支付系统FedNow终于上线


The country’s banks are not entirely on board

美国银行并未全部同意使用


America’s financial plumbing is overdue a spot of maintenance. The current payment “rails” on which it is based—built by a group of the country’s biggest banks to replace paper cheques—are more than half a century old and run on antiquated code. Although robust, the system is painfully slow. American payments are less sophisticated than those in the rest of the rich world, and indeed those in much of the poor world, too.


美国金融系统早该进行维护。其当前支付通道由美国若干大型银行建立,用于替代纸质支票;建于半个多世纪之前不说,其运行代码都快老掉牙了。尽管该系统很强大,但速度慢得令人焦急。美国的支付系统不够先进,赶不上其他富裕国家,事实上,也赶不上许多贫穷国家。


It is a problem the Federal Reserve is trying to fix with a centralised instant-payments system, which it launched on July 20th. Aptly called FedNow, this will allow Americans to ping money to their compatriots, via their existing financial institutions, and for payments to settle straight away. All told, 35 banks and 16 payment providers have signed up to use the service.


720日,美联储推出集中式即时支付系统,试图解决该问题。新系统名字很贴切,叫FedNow。借助该系统和现有的金融机构,能够在美国消费者之间实现快速转账和即时结算。目前已有35家银行和16家支付服务提供商同意使用该服务。


Most American bank transfers are cheap but processed in batches, often taking days to settle. Peer-to-peer networks, like Cash App, appear much quicker to customers but, beneath the surface, rely on the old system. Regulators have warned that funds held on such apps might not qualify for deposit insurance in the event of a failure. Credit cards, which offer juicy rewards at the cost of even juicier fees, also use existing rails. According to the San Francisco Fed, nearly a third of payments last year were made using plastic.


大部分美国银行的转账服务费用低廉,但由于需要分批处理,经常几天后才能到账。客户可能会觉得Cash App等点对点支付应用(peer-to-peer)速度更快,但这类应用底层仍然依托于老的支付系统处理收付款。监管机构警告称,万一这类支付应用出现问题,客户存在里面的资金可能无法获得存款保险的赔付。信用卡支付虽然能攒积分薅羊毛,但始终是羊毛出在羊身上,收费相对也更高,而且使用的也是老系统。根据旧金山联储的数据,去年全美近三分之一的支付是通过信用卡完成的。


注释:

1Peer-to-peer payment:点对点支付(转账)。Peer-to-peer payments (also referred to as P2P transactions) are electronic money transfers made from one person to another through an intermediary. Through the P2P payment application, each individual's account is linked to one or more of the user's bank accounts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer-to-peer_transaction

2deposit insurance:存款保险In the U.S. deposit insurance is the government’s guarantee that an account holder’s money at an insured bank is safe up to a certain amount, currently $250,000 per account. Deposit insurance is provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a government agency that collects fees – insurance premiums – from banks.

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/how-does-deposit-insurance-work/


Typically, Americans use different methods for different types of payment: a water bill is paid via bank transfer; $100 owed to a friend is sent through a payment app; a purchase on Amazon is made with a credit card. A single, real-time payments solution should improve the quality of all.


一般来说,美国消费者会使用不同的支付方式完成各种支付操作。例如,通过银行转账交水费,利用支付应用还欠款,比如欠朋友的100美元,利用信用卡在亚马逊网站上购物。如果建立一个统一的、实时的支付系统,上述各类支付操作的质量都能够得到提升。


JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, two heavyweight banks, have signed up to FedNow. But Wall Street is not entirely on board: a longer list of institutions, including Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, is absent. Although the older system is slow, it is also profitable for those involved. Financial institutions can take advantage of slow settlements to park cash in interest-bearing short-term securities overnight, or merely keep the money at the Fed to accrue interest. They also pocket late-payment fees and some make money from their own instant-payment systems, such as The Clearing House, which is run by a group of banks.


摩根大通(JP Morgan Chase)和富国银行(Wells Fargo)这两家美国重量级银行已经同意接入FedNow系统。但华尔街还有相当一部分金融机构并不买账,包括美国银行(Bank of America)、花旗银行(Citigroup)和高盛(Goldman Sachs)等。旧系统虽然结算速度慢,但也滋养着一些既得利益者。金融机构可以利用较长的结算周期,将现金用于购买短期有息隔夜证券赚取收益,或者干脆存在美联储积攒利息。他们还能收取逾期付款的手续费,或者联合其他银行建立私营的即时支付机构来获利,例如数十家美国银行共同运营的清算所(The Clearing House)。


Some observers, recalling the banking turmoil this spring, worry that FedNow might destabilise the financial system. A report by Moody’s, a credit-ratings agency, warns that the new scheme could make bank runs more likely by making it easier for depositors to flee. Such worries are likely to prove overblown, however. The current system, where weekends are closed for business, provided little relief to Silicon Valley Bank and others a few months ago. Moreover, since FedNow is a back-end system, participating institutions are able to set limits in line with their risk appetite. They can, for instance, cap payments or limit transactions.


回想起今年春天银行业的动荡不安,一些观察者担忧FedNow可能会影响金融系统的稳定性。信用评级机构穆迪的一份报告发出预警,新系统FedNow推行后,储户存款更容易逃离银行,从而增加银行挤兑风险。不过这似乎有些夸大其词。几个月前,现行系统在周末无法使用,但硅谷银行和其他银行并未因此如释重负。此外,由于 FedNow 是后端系统,参与机构可以根据自己的风险偏好设定限制条件,例如,设置支付上限或交易限制。


Other countries are also light years ahead of America—and do not appear more vulnerable to bank runs. In India, for example, instant payments are the norm, accounting for 81% of domestic electronic transactions last year (see chart). In Thailand and Brazil they accounted for 64% and 37% respectively. Emerging markets have embraced instant payments in part because of demography (consumers are younger and more open to change), in part because of a crackdown on cash (policymakers are keen to shrink the size of grey markets, and increase tax takes) and in part because, unlike in America, new payment systems did not have to push aside existing ones, and those who benefited from them.


在即时支付领域,一些国家早已遥遥领先于美国,也没见那些国家的银行挤兑风险因此变得更高。例如,在印度,即时支付已常态化,去年占国内电子交易的81%(见图)。在泰国和巴西,即时支付分别占64%37%。新兴市场拥抱即时支付的原因有三:一是人口结构不同(消费者更年轻化,也更愿意接受改变),二是现金支付遭打压(政策制定者渴望缩小灰色市场,增加税收),三是与美国不同,新兴市场推出新的支付系统并不会影响现有支付系统,也不会影响现有受益者继续受益。


FedNow is unlikely to transform payments immediately. The scheme will only support “push” transfers—ones that consumers initiate themselves. By contrast, FedNow’s counterparts in Europe and India also have “pull” capabilities that businesses may use when given permission (which enable, say, regular payments for electricity). Fed officials claim to have no plans to extend the system for such uses, but bankers suspect it is the next step.


FedNow对支付方式的改变不太可能立竿见影。该系统将只支持推送转账,即由消费者自己发起的转账。相比之下,欧洲和印度所推出的类似FedNow的系统,还拥有拉取能力,企业在获得许可后即可发起拉取支付(例如,可以定期从用户的账户中扣取电费)。美联储官员称,尚无计划拓展该系统的此类用途,但银行家们怀疑这将是下一步。


注释:

“Push” transfers(推送转账)是指由付款方主动发起的支付交易。在这种情况下,付款方将资金直接推送到收款方的账户中。通常,这种转账是由消费者或企业发起的,他们明确选择将资金发送到特定的收款方。在“push”转账中,收款方不需要主动参与或授权交易,因为付款方已经指示将款项发送给他们。举例来说,如果您使用手机应用向朋友支付一笔钱,您输入朋友的账号并点击付款,这就是一个“push”转账。您主动推送资金给朋友,而朋友不需要采取任何行动来接收这笔款项。与之相对应的是“pull” transfers(拉取转账),在这种情况下,收款方发起支付交易并从付款方的账户中拉取所需的款项。这通常需要付款方提供授权,允许收款方从他们的账户中提取款项。


Mass adoption will face one more hurdle: the American consumer, over whom paper-based payments retain a particular hold. According to aci Worldwide, a payments firm, around a fifth of all cash transfers in the country happen via cheque. Still, it will be nice for them to have the option, just like the rest of the world.


大规模普及将面临另一个障碍: 美国消费者——对他们来说,纸质支付仍然占有特殊的地位。根据支付公司ACI Worldwide的数据,约有五分之一的现金交易是通过支票进行的。不过,对于美国消费者来说,多个选择,还是其他国家消费者都拥有的选择,会是件很不错的事情。


翻译组:

Ellie,女,金融硕士,经济学人粉丝

风筝,热爱生活 热爱翻译 热爱搞钱 热爱猫咪

Humi,女,学习财经的金融小白,不负韶华,平视世界

Summer,女,QE在职,梦想能仗走天涯 翻译/音乐 /健康


校对组:

Cecilia,今年过得贵妇一点

骡拉,很帅但是吃冰棒舔手

ZorinaDream big and be daring


3



观点|评论|思考


本期感想

Vic,男,曾在52街和第6大道的投行人,目前的券商兵;市场和历史的学生

电子支付对国人来说已经稀松平常,但难以想象世界上最先进的国家仍然使用着半世纪前设置好的系统。这一古早的支付系统终于迎来了现代化革新,现在美国机构间/个人间的转账也有瞬间到账的电子支付了。
这更像是一个跟随步伐的进步,而不是前瞻性的革新。美国近年来事实上银行已经提供了瞬时转账的功能,但没有像“FedNow”这样在其上嫁接了35家银行和16家支付公司。这样的功能可以大大提升资金传送效率,但却动了一些人的蛋糕——古旧的系统由于慢速度可以让一些银行们能多吃几天的利息,这些习惯了传统的金融文化而类似于垄断生意的模式的银行们,是十分介意新科技对自己利益的侵蚀的。
可以确定地是,“FedNow”在未来的发展中一定会嫁接上越来越多的机构,使得美元在全球的流转速度大大提升,用现代的支付系统支撑现代社会的运行节奏。虽说支付速度不是使用某种货币的决定因素,但交割速度依然会是货币使用者会考虑的因素。为了维护储备货币的地位,服务也必须要跟上。

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