Fed Releases Road Map to Faster Payments

Feb. 2, 2015

Fed Releases Road Map to Faster Payments A long-awaited Fed report promised some action on an even longer-awaited overhaul of the U.S. payments system. While consumers and technology companies have been pushing for faster payments, the Federal Reserve and banks are challenged by a legacy system that would be very expensive to update. Last week’s Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System at least establishes faster payments as a Fed priority with the expressed aim of including banks in the process.

The report set a general timetable starting with establishing two task forces early this year that will study faster payments and payment security. They will be part of a five-prong attack the Fed set out to tackle improving the payment system that stresses engaging with all payments stakeholders to identify the most effective approaches for implementing faster payments—and doing it securely—both within the U.S. and in cross-border environments.

The paper continually stressed the need for stakeholder action and defined its role as a facilitator to achieve this.

“The Federal Reserve is committed to advancing these initiatives through leadership and action. The Federal Reserve will act as leader, convener, catalyst and service provider, as appropriate, and will commit its resources to supporting these initiatives. The Federal Reserve will also actively monitor and communicate progress, seek feedback and adjust strategies in response to developments.”