Credit and debit cards remain the dominant method to pay for goods and services in the Western world, but their age is showing. The infrastructure that supports cards hasn’t changed in decades and is infamously slow and insecure, and economics for merchants have continued to remain unfavorable. Card payments take 1-3 days to settle, involve significant fraud and chargeback risk, and are expensive, with fees sometimes exceeding 10% of transaction value.
A new global payment infrastructure, beneficial to both merchants and consumers, is emerging. Real-time payment (RTP) systems allow banks to move money directly from the accounts of senders into receivers’ and settle in seconds instead of days. One company is leading this overdue evolution toward an instant, frictionless account-to-account (A2A) future: Volt.
The opportunity to disrupt how we pay – with a next-generation payment network that is global, direct and real-time – is the reason we are leading a $60 million Series B investment in Volt and are committed to partnering with founders Tom Greenwood, Jordan Lawrence and Steffen Vollert.
Volt: At the forefront of the revolution in how we pay
Today, more than 70 countries, including the U.S., are building RTP systems to replace their archaic payment infrastructure. For merchants, the benefits of A2A payments via RTP rails are enormous, making payments:
- Instant, which shortens cash conversion cycles
- More secure, because hacking a bank account is much more difficult than stealing card information
- Cheaper, with fees that can be up to 90% less than card fees, because transactions require fewer stakeholders and are far less exposed to chargeback risk
Tom, Jordan and Steffen started the company in 2019 with an ambitious and bold vision: to build the world’s first global real-time payments network. Coinciding with the global development of RTP rails and the emergence of open banking, their timing could not have been better. A2A payments, the growth of which RTP rails have accelerated, are now among the fastest-growing payment methods worldwide, with rapid adoption throughout Europe, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America.
In many countries, A2A has become the predominant way consumers pay for goods and services. According to Worldpay’s 2023 Global Payments Report, the value of A2A payments in e-commerce transactions reached $525 billion in 2022, up 13% from 2021. By 2026, Worldpay estimates A2A payments will have a 10% share of the global e-commerce payments market, comprising a staggering $757 billion in payment volume.
How Volt is building the first global real-time payments network
To achieve its global ambition, Volt built infrastructure that connects A2A payment rails worldwide from a single point of access with a payment orchestration approach. This significantly expands the number of geographies and A2A payment methods Volt can reach and gives merchants the flexibility and redundancy of accessing multiple payment networks.
As a result, the company offers a gateway to a world of A2A payments, seamlessly connecting more than 5,000 banks across the UK, EU and Brazil – with Australia and the U.S. on the horizon – as well as a suite of value-added services that operationalizes real-time payments to their full potential.
Since launch, Volt has achieved best-in-class traction with hundreds of merchants and payments partners and recently added partnerships with Worldpay, the world’s largest merchant acquirer, and Shopify, the leading global commerce company. As RTP and open banking schemes continue to gain rapid adoption globally, merchants and payment partners are eager to adopt – many of them for the first time. When we asked more than a dozen Volt customers why they chose to partner with Volt, they consistently raved about Volt’s best-in-class geographic coverage, superior and flexible product and UX and exceptional customer service. Likewise, Volt's elegant checkout interface and robust payment security are delivering consumers enhanced value and peace of mind at checkout.
Tom, Jordan and Steffen are each native to the payments industry and bring complementary expertise across product, technology, partnerships, operations, recruiting and regulatory to solve the deepest merchant and consumer pain points. Combined with the experience of Board Chairman Robert Kraal (co-founder of Adyen) and Non-Executive Director Gabriel de Montessus (Group President at FIS Worldpay), we are eager and excited to see Volt lead the revolution in the future of payments.