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Payment Rail


A payment rail is a network or platform that facilitates digital transactions. Payment rails are measured in terms of transaction security, volume, and settlement time. Credit rails, ACH rails, and Bitcoin rails are common forms of payment rails.

Like other railways, a payment rail is the infrastructure, pathway, or technology enabling the transmission of assets to a counterparty.

Info: Historically, transacting parties did not require a digital payment rail because they could physically exchange cash or coin with ease.
Historically, transacting parties did not require a digital payment rail because they could physically exchange cash or coin with ease.

Today, governments surveil cash payments on credit and ACH rails - transactions exceeding a value of $10,000 garner additional scrutiny from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The onset of payment rail analytics has caused payment data to become commoditized. Corporations monitor the patterns, amounts, and physical location of transactions on their payment rails.

Blockchain rails offer greater privacy, stronger security, and faster settlement times than legacy payment rails.