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.

Payment 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 work

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 routing

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.

You have the following options for network routing of your Instant Payments credit transfer.

Explicit routing

Using the API, you specify the network platform in your payment request using the networkPlatform attribute (can either be TCH or FedNow). To determine which routing numbers are on which Instant Payments network, use the directory endpoint.


FedNow payments might be routed to TCH based on bank/network availability, to optimize for best execution.

Implicit routing

If you don't specify a network platform in your payment request, CR uses implicit routing to deliver the payment to the creditor as efficiently and effectively as possible. For implicit routing, the network used for sending the payment depends on the routing number specified, as well as how the product assigned to your account is configured for network access.

See Network Platform in Business reference information for more details.

Instant Payment queuing for RTP via TCH payments

Cross River has created a user experience for partners to submit Instant Payments to RTP via TCH-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.

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-(me 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

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