Clearing House Interbank Payments Company

Definition of Clearing House Interbank Payments Company

Clearing House Interbank Payments Company (CHIPS) is a private, United States-based organization that facilitates large-value transactions between banks. It operates as a real-time electronic clearing and settlement system for the exchange of payments among its member financial institutions. With high efficiency and minimum transaction risks, CHIPS has become a significant player in the American financial landscape.



Key Takeaways

  1. Clearing House Interbank Payments Company (CHIPS) is a United States private sector, real-time, high-value payment system that processes and settles payment transactions between participating financial institutions.
  2. Operated by The Clearing House Payments Company, CHIPS provides services to support multiple payment types, including funds transfers, foreign exchange transactions, and commercial payments, with a focus on safety, security, and efficiency.
  3. CHIPS handles over $1.5 trillion in daily transactions, making it a critical component of the US financial infrastructure and a key player in international payment systems.

Importance of Clearing House Interbank Payments Company

The Clearing House Interbank Payments Company (CHIPCo) is an important technology term because it refers to a major financial network that facilitates the secure and efficient exchange of large-value transactions between financial institutions.

By streamlining the processing, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions, CHIPCo plays a crucial role in maintaining the stability and reliability of global financial systems.

It enables instant and seamless transfers, reducing the time and cost associated with moving money across borders.

Ultimately, this organization significantly contributes to the growth of global commerce, promoting economic development and financial integration worldwide.


The Clearing House Interbank Payments Company (CHIPCO) serves an essential purpose in the world of financial transactions by facilitating the seamless exchange of high-value, time-sensitive payments among banks and other financial institutions. Founded in 1970, CHIPCO operates as a large-scale electronic payment platform for domestic and international transactions.

Through this highly secure and efficient platform, financial institutions are able to transfer massive sums of money quickly and safely, which is crucial for maintaining liquidity and allowing businesses and economies to function smoothly. The operation of CHIPCO enables greater financial flexibility for institutions, reducing the risks that can sometimes arise from delayed or inaccurate payments.

One of the primary uses of Clearing House Interbank Payments Company is in settling transactions between banks, especially for substantial interbank transfers and other wholesale payment services. This is particularly significant as it allows banks to cover positions, meet reserve requirements, and remain liquid in order to satisfy the demands of their customers.

By providing a stable and efficient platform for banks to settle their obligations, CHIPCO plays a vital role in fostering confidence and trust within the financial sector. Additionally, the system benefits the end users of banking services, such as businesses and individuals, by ensuring that payments are processed reliably and expeditiously, thus enabling global commerce and economic activity to continue unhindered.

Examples of Clearing House Interbank Payments Company

Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) is a United States private clearinghouse, which facilitates the electronic transfer of funds between participating financial institutions. Here are three real-world examples of how CHIPS technology is utilized in financial transactions:

International Trade Payments: A business in the United States wants to import goods from a supplier in Germany. To make the payment, the U.S. business’s bank sends a payment request through CHIPS to the German supplier’s bank. As a result, the funds are securely transferred from the U.S. bank account to the supplier’s bank account, allowing for smooth and efficient international trade transactions.

Large Corporate Transactions: A multinational corporation wants to invest in a new factory located in another country. The investment amount is substantial, and speed and security of the transaction is critical. The corporation’s bank initiates a wire transfer using CHIPS technology to facilitate the transfer of funds between the corporation’s account and the beneficiary’s bank account in the foreign country, completing the transaction in a timely and secure manner.

Bank-to-Bank Settlement: Two banks, having numerous interrelated transactions throughout the day, decide to settle their accounts at the end of the day. CHIPS facilitates this process by netting the value of all related transactions between the two banks, determining the net amount owed, and then transferring the necessary funds between the banks in one large transaction, streamlining the settlement process and reducing the risk for both banks involved.

FAQ: Clearing House Interbank Payments Company

What is the Clearing House Interbank Payments Company?

The Clearing House Interbank Payments Company (CHIPS) is a United States-based payment system that facilitates the transfer of funds between major banks and financial institutions. CHIPS provides a fast, secure, and efficient method for processing large-value, US dollar-denominated transactions both domestically and internationally.

How does CHIPS work?

CHIPS operates by netting payment instructions belonging to its participant banks and settling their payment obligations at the end of the day. This enables the efficient processing of a large volume of transactions while minimizing the corresponding liquidity and credit risks associated with individual transactions.

Who can participate in CHIPS?

Membership in CHIPS is open to US depository institutions, Edge Act Corporations, and branches and agencies of foreign banks operating in the United States. Participants must meet certain capital requirements, operational standards, and regulatory conditions in order to join CHIPS and maintain their membership.

What are the advantages of using CHIPS?

CHIPS offers several advantages over other payment systems, including faster processing times, higher transaction limits, lower transaction costs, and enhanced security features. These characteristics make CHIPS an attractive option for banks and financial institutions engaged in high-value and time-sensitive US dollar transactions.

How does CHIPS differ from the Fedwire Funds Service?

While both CHIPS and the Fedwire Funds Service facilitate large-value US dollar transactions, they employ different settlement methods. CHIPS operates on a netting system, combining multiple transactions from various participants into a single net obligation at the end of the day. In contrast, the Fedwire Funds Service settles transactions on a real-time gross settlement basis, with each transaction processed individually and in real time. Additionally, CHIPS is a private sector institution, while the Fedwire Funds Service is operated by the Federal Reserve System.

Related Technology Terms

  • Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
  • Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS)
  • SWIFT messaging system
  • Foreign exchange (FX) transactions
  • Payment settlement risk

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