Instant payments at Cross River

Cross River is proud to offer a suite of domestic Instant Payments products. Instant payments allow individuals and businesses to transmit funds that clear and settle within seconds between US DDAs at different US-based financial institutions. Cross River (CR) uses the following payment network platforms to route its instant payments:

  • RTP® via The Clearing House. The Clearing House (TCH) provides Instant Payments using its RTP® system. All federally insured US depository institutions that participate in the RTP network can send payments from and receive payments to their accounts 24/7.

  • FedNow®. The Federal Reserve's instant payment infrastructure allows financial institutions of every size across the U.S. to provide safe and efficient 24/7 instant payment services.

Instant Payments are not permitted for foreign payments. These are domestic-only networks, which means that an instant payment cannot be sent to a foreign bank. To further elaborate, Instant Payments may not be used at any point in a transaction flow where the funds are either being sent to or received from a foreign bank. The Instant Payment leg of a flow of funds must be considered a separate transaction from the foreign payment leg.

Instant Payments flow


  • Any US-based bank can join either Instant Payments network to send domestic transactions.


    Both sending and receiving banks must be part of the same Instant Payments network to send a payment over that network. Each participating bank on either network is registered by their routing number(s), which is used to disclose the eligibility of the bank to receive various payment or non-payment messages.

  • Instant payments transactionsClosed An individual transaction processed by the RTP system, consisting of a request message followed by a response message. clear and settle within seconds.

  • You can't reverse a transaction or get a returns automatically with Instant Payments. If you need to ask for your money back, you have to ask for a Return of Funds from the bank that you sent the payment to.

  • Each network defines any explicit limitations on Instant Payments use cases for that network.

  • TCH sets its transaction limit at $1,000,000/transaction. FedNow sets its transaction limit at $500,000/transaction. Cross River may set different limits for different partners. These limits are subject to review.

    For example, it could be that a Cross River partner is only approved for Instant Payments transactions under $10,000.

  • For receiving funds, Cross River doesn't set a receive limit that is lower than the maximum receive limit, i.e., $1,000,000 for TCH and $500,000 for FedNow.

  • We support webhooks and extended data in the transaction so the receiver can see the sending account in the transaction details.

How Instant Payments works

Credit transfers

Instant Payments transfer money between banks in real time via an Instant Payments network. A credit transfer is the specific message in the Instant Payments network used to transfer money between banks in real time (also referred to as pacs.008). The debtor is the account owner who sends the credit transfer, and the creditor is the account owner who receives the credit transfer. The debtor FI is the bank that sends the credit transfer, and the creditor FI is the bank that receives the credit transfer. This is the same thing as a push payment. One party (debtor) sends funds to another party (creditor).

Instant Payments networks do not use pull payments. One party cannot debit (take) funds from another party's bank account.

Instant payments transactions and requests are made by messagesClosed A complete transmission of an instruction or of a response from one FI to another FI through the RTP system. A message consists of two legs. sent between the debtor, creditor, their respective financial institutions, and the Instant Payments network.

Originating Instant Payments using COS

Originate Instant Payments using Cross River COS API calls. A credit transfer via API call must include at least:

  • The account number funding the transfer

  • The transfer amount

  • The creditor account number and routing number at the receiving bank

Network interoperability

CR now uses two different Instant Payments network platforms: RTP via The Clearing House (TCH) and FedNow. Until recently, only TCH offered instant payments. Now we can also originate Instant Payments through the Federal Reserve's FedNow platform.

CR network interoperability solution delivers the payment to the creditor as efficiently and effectively as possible. When you originate an Instant Payment:

  • If both networks are available and online, we use a "network preference." We base this preference on the product configuration, which can either be a CR level network preference or you can choose your own preference, applied across all your users of that product.

    • You can also indicate your preference for an individual transaction using the networkPlatform attribute on the API request.

  • If only one network can be used, we route the payment through that network.

  • If both networks can be used but only one is online, we use that online network.

  • If neither network can be used, the payment fails.

To determine if an FI (based on routing numbers) participates in either or both platforms, use the directory endpoint.

Network platform values

When you originate an Instant Payment credit transfer, the response returns one of these values for the networkPlatform attribute.

Network Platform



The pacs.008 credit transfer is routed through the RTP via TCH network


The pacs.008 credit transfer is routed through the FedNow network

Queuing Instant Payment

Cross River has created a user experience for partners to submit Instant Payments to participating banks when they are unavailable to receive the payment. Instead of the payment being rejected, CR will queue the payment until the receiving institution is online, and then automatically originate the payment. Queuing is available for both RTP via TCH and FedNow.

What FIs are on what network?

Cross River offers an API to find out whether a given FI participates in RTP via TCH, FedNow, or both, and what services that FI offers. Use the GET /rtp/v1/directory endpoint. See our tutorial about this endpoint.

Instant Payments use cases

Transfer funds with instant payments for a variety of use cases.

Person to Person (P2P)

  • Caregivers - Babysitters and Dog Walkers

  • Gift giving/funding - Birthdays, Baby or Bridal showers

  • Micro-lending/micro- donations - GoFundMe page or Fundraising site

  • Reimbursements - Splitting checks, Rent or Utilities

  • School expenses

Business to Business (B2B)

  • Merchant Settlement

    • E-invoicing (recurring complex invoices)

    • Automation of sub-contractor invoices

  • Reduction in manual efforts for reconciliation

  • Just-in-time payments/payment on delivery

    • Services (background checks, drug screenings, uniforms)

  • Off-cycle payments

  • 401(k) loan disbursements

  • Benefits disbursements

  • Payments for pension, 401(k)

  • Reimbursing travel or home office expenses to employees

Business to Consumer (B2C) or Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)

  • Digital Wallet disbursements

  • Loan funding

  • Insurance claims auto/home

  • Employer Benefits (401(k) loans, pension payments)

  • Legal settlements

  • Reimbursements

  • Refunds

Consumer to Business (C2B)

  • Loans/credit cards

  • Recurring monthly bills - Cable/internet service, Utilities, Rent, Rentals (furniture, etc.)

  • Homeowners’ association dues

  • Medical bills

Instant payments roles

Ultimate Debtors and Creditors

The ultimate debtor and creditor roles offer the receiving bank greater clarity about the exact originator or recipient of the funds.​ These roles are useful whenever there are 2 parties on either the sender side (debtor) or the receiver side (creditor) (or both) because one party is originating or receiving on behalf of the other party. Ultimate debtors and creditors make clear to the receiving bank who the exact originator or recipient of the funds is.​ ​This helps ensure accurate and efficient processing of transactions within the financial system.

You're not required to include any address attributes for the ultimate debtor or creditor. However, if you provide any part of the address you must also include all of these address attributes: addressStreetName, addressCity, addressState, addressPostalCode, and addressCountry.

When using either an ultimate debtor or creditor, the corresponding debtor or creditor account must be a business account.

The diagram below provides variable flows of funds with Ultimate Debtors and Creditors.

The second flow shows a practical application of how to use the Ultimate Debtor in Instant Payments API requests:

  1. The Sender, an end user, initiates the payment or disbursement via the Merchant's application.

  2. The Merchant, your client, both provides the platform through which the Sender initiates the payment and acts as the Ultimate Debtor.

  3. You act as the Debtor in this scenario because you are directly affiliated with Cross River, and serve as the client of the bank.

  4. Cross River, as the Sending Financial Institution (FI), facilitates and oversees the transaction.

  5. The Receiving FI, as the recipient financial institution, obtains the payment on behalf of the final beneficiary.

  6. The Receiver, as the end beneficiary or creditor and a client of the Receiving FI, receives the disbursement or payment.

Implementation Requirements at Cross River

Meet these requirements to implement Instant Payments at CR.

Technical requirements

You must be able to integrate with the Instant Payments API in COS (RTP module). See the Instant Payments API section for examples of common API calls.

Risk/compliance requirements

These requirements apply to all Instant Payments transactionsClosed An individual transaction processed by the RTP system, consisting of a request message followed by a response message.s at CR:

Due diligence (DD) requirements

Depending on the type of business, there are various requirements for specific customers to use Instant Payments with CR. All these requirements are included in the due diligence process, ensuring that the customer clears all regulatory requirements and CR requirements.

DD requirements in detail

Business reference information

Payment status

See the payment status in the status field of Instant Payment responses.

Payment types

This value appears in the paymentType field in Instant Payments responses. The paymentType value tells you details about the transaction.

RTP via TCH and FedNow error codes

RTP via TCH and FedNow return their own, specific error codes. See the error codes value in the result.code field of the response.

Reason codes

The reasonCode attribute in an Instant Payments response provides the reason a message did not complete. The resultCode will be OK if the payment was successfully sent/received.

Refer to the ISO 20022 External Code Set on ISO’s website for additional information on FedNow reason codes.

Transaction account context

TransactionAccountContext is a CR code used internally for additional details about the state of a payment, within a status. Use PaymentStatus to determine the status of a payment with regard to the Instant Payments network.

Transaction Status

Network status of the payment (rtpTransactionStatus), as set by the receiving institution. This applies to Credit Transfers.


SDVA - The only code accepted by RTP via TCH, which means payment must be executed with same day value to the creditor (for RTP via TCH this will be done in seconds).


For RTP via TCH, identifies the origination condition of the instruction to allow the instructed agent to properly process the transaction.


Identifies the Debtor/Sender as either a business or consumer customer of the Debtor FI.

Error codes

Instant payments COS system error codes can be retrieved in the RTP module using the call GET /v1/meta/errors.