Payment methods and payment systems used in the world

Payment systems

Various payment systems have significantly simplified the life of modern society, greatly simplifying and speeding up the process of paying for goods and services and making money transfers. Today, non-cash payments are used in almost all areas of life, from a banal trip to the store to paying for travel on public transport or taxi services. Over the past few years, many international, regional, national, electronic, and alternative payment systems have appeared in the world. Today’s article proposes to consider the most popular and famous among them.


Society for International Interbank Financial Communication Channels. The use of this system allows banks, and financial and credit institutions from around the world to send and receive information about various financial transactions in a standardized and secure form.

SWIFT was officially founded in 1973. The founders of the system were 248 banks from 19 countries. The headquarters of the interbank system is located in Belgium, in the suburbs of Brussels. SWIFT operational centers have traditionally operated in the USA and the Netherlands.

The system participants are more than 11 thousand financial organizations from 200 countries. Every day it processes over 30 million messages containing financial information. To make a transfer, the user only needs to know the name of the bank and the IBAN code of the recipient’s bank account.

2. BACS (UK)

The oldest payment system in the UK. It was launched about fifty years ago. Despite its more than venerable age, it remains one of the most famous and frequently used regular payment systems in Britain. With its help, salaries are paid, utility bills are paid, subscriptions are paid, and benefits and allowances are paid. We advise you to pay attention to this payment system, but before making your first transfer, we advise you to read the bacs payment guide.

One of the main reasons that allowed Bacs not only to stand the test of time, but also to become the most popular payment system is that it allows individuals to make transactions free, and for legal entities the cost of transactions is minimal. On average, the system processes transfers and payments in three to five days.

3. TARGET (European Union)

TARGET is an interbank payment system that allows real-time international settlements among commercial companies and financial organizations operating in the European Union. A trial version of the service was launched in early 1999. At that time, sixteen national payment systems, united under the auspices of the European Central Bank, became TARGET participants.

TARGET sees its goals as:

  • Ensuring the safety and reliability of international financial transactions;
  • Increasing the speed of payments between EU member countries;
  • Assistance in the implementation of the common monetary policy of the European Central Bank.

The system does not work on weekends and national holidays. On average, about 7 million payments worth tens of billions of euros are made through Target per year.

4. ACH Network (USA)

The ACH Network is an automated clearing house that provides electronic transfers from one bank account to another. The system is widely used in the USA to solve the following problems:

  • Payment for goods and services
  • Payroll for employees
  • Making bank transfers.

ACH was created as an alternative to credit card payments and paper checks. The use of electronic payments allows you not only to automate financial transactions but also to save on the purchase of paper, ink, etc.

5. Fedwire (USA)

Fedwire is an electronic money transfer system operated by the US Federal Reserve. Its use allows banking and financial institutions in America to carry out transfers of funds and securities on a nationwide scale.

Today, absolutely all Federal Reserve Banks of the country, the US Federal Treasury, as well as about 9 thousand credit institutions are connected to Fedwire. The Federal Reserve maintains accounts and allows immediate settlement of transactions.

Fedwire charges a fee to all participants in transactions. Money transfers can be initiated by system participants online or by telephone. The service is operated by twelve federal banks. Fedwire operates on weekdays only.


Choosing a payment system that is suitable in all respects is a complex and responsible task in all respects. Some systems are suitable for absolutely every user, others need a card that will work reliably in all corners of the globe, and others require PS that allows for fast and secure cross-border transfers. Therefore, before issuing a card or concluding a cooperation agreement, it is recommended to find out in advance about the operation of the system and what it offers to its clients.