Create a real-time payments app  

Enable customers to send and receive funds online without sharing their banking information with third parties

Last updated | By Michael Hudson


Want to create web and phone applications that can access real-time payments through IBM’s Financial Transaction Manager (FTM) for Real-Time Payments service? This code pattern shows you how to use IBM Cloud finance services to create a real-time payments application. These services are integrated into a web interface that manages the user’s tokens and recipients using the Real-Time Payments service.


Banks and other financial institutions that provide payment services can find major business value in helping their customers send and receive payments in real time. They are able to eliminate costs on transactions that might have otherwise gone to third-party payment systems such as Venmo or PayPal.

This is also a more convenient way for customers to send funds online and avoid sharing their banking information with third-party services. Since existing options within banking apps only allow you to send money to people who have accounts with those institutions, real-time payment technology can make transfers much easier. Customers prefer not to set up new profiles or add downloads to already-cluttered phones.

The real-time payments app that you’ll produce in this pattern lets you send and request payments using the Real-Time Payments service. You’ll learn how to generate a robust, enterprise-grade payments application without needing a direct connection to the network or to the underlying payments rails. When you create new users, they are automatically registered as participants in a non-production registry. You can link their emails or mobile numbers to their bank accounts; that way, they never have to share sensitive bank details to receive money. You’ll use those emails or mobile phone numbers as tokens to direct any payments they receive into their bank account. They’ll also receive an instant payment notification every time someone sends them money, usually through an SMS text message or e-mail.

This pattern is ideal for any developer who needs to understand real-time payments app development. When you have completed the pattern, you will understand how to use use the Real-Time Payments service to:

  • Manage participants, tokens, and recipients
  • Initiate payments and payment requests
  • View transaction activity

Note: Financial Transaction Manager APIs are actual services hosted in IBM Cloud that you can use for testing. Other supporting systems such as the accounting system and network responses are simulated, so some responses may differ from that of a full production system.


  1. User A logs into the demo banking portal and can link email addresses and/or phone numbers to their account, add recipients identified by their email addresses or phone numbers, and send or request money to the recipients added by the user such as User B.
  2. All of these actions are controlled through API calls by the application using the Real-time Payments service.
  3. The service uses Redis Cache and a Cloudant DDA system to store data, process requests, and provide security.
  4. Once the transactions are registered and completed, they can be viewed through the banking portal.
  5. User B can log in and see if User A has sent any money or made any requests.

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Architecture center

Learn how this code pattern fits into the Microservices Reference Architecture

IBM Financial Transaction Manager

Financial Transaction Manager integrates, orchestrates, and monitors financial transactions, delivering consistent processing across multiple payment types and enabling banks and financial institutions to converge their payment operations onto a single platform.

Getting started with Real-Time Payments

The Real-Time Payments service leverages IBM Financial Transaction Manager’s sophisticated capabilities to manage participants, tokens, and receivers, to initiate payments and payment requests and to view the status of the payments hub.

IBM Cloud for Banking

Transform digital customer experiences with financial services in the cloud. Build secure, engaging solutions that integrate existing IT with hybrid cloud options.

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Everything you need to quickly solve real problems is compiled into a code pattern, with architecture diagrams, one-click deployment GitHub repositories, and pointers to essential docs.