April Fools 2019

Fed’s Faster Payments Council Embraces ‘Speed Of Light’ Payments

Payments has moved beyond batches to … photons.  The Fed’s faster payments council now seeks to enable the fastest payments in the universe, approaching and perhaps even exceeding the speed of light.  Get ready for the warp bubble.

Faster payments? Make that fastest payments. Real time?  Make that “bending space and time — for real.”

There are just-in-time payments and then there are “payments before you need them.”

The news comes April 1 that the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force, which was formed in 2015, has doubled down on the use of technology to speed payments … so much so that they will travel at the speed of light.  Perhaps faster.

As noted two years ago, the final report from the Task Force, which was published in January of 2017, showed support for a faster payments framework in the United States.

That framework will now include a “warp bubble.”  By way of simpler explanation on how the space time continuum may be manipulated in general (with a theoretical application to space travel), The New York Times has described the “warp bubble,” where for years scientists have been exploring the notion of how light speed may be approached, met and even transcended for space travel to distant galaxies.

The adoption of the “warp bubble” comes after a public comment period — where more than 400 public comments were received from various stakeholders across the payments landscape.

But as per an unidentified source at the Federal Reserve, contacted by PYMNTS: “This was the one — the one about the bubble.  Payments at the speed of light, possibly faster than the speed of light.  Really, the use cases are endless … and we may finally get to kill the check.  Because who needs paper when you have photons?”

The new payments offerings harness the ability to expand and contract space — expanding space on one side of the payment and contracting it on the other, getting to the speed (and beyond) of light.

Gone, then, are the days of batch payments, same day settlements — and certainly gone are the days when account activity showed up days later.  Now payments will be made the very instant a user even thinks of paying (provided of course that the account has funds enough to handle the demands of the transaction). Moving faster than the speed of light may mean that transactions are done even before they are requested.

The source told PYMNTS that such scientific, speed-of-light endeavors may have been focused on, say, intergalactic travel, “but this takes paying your bills to a whole new level. This is not just P2P, or B2B or B2C, this can be thought of as G2G, which is galaxy to galaxy,” she said, tongue in cheek.

Another spokesperson for the Fed told PYMNTS that the working model for the educational campaign will be: “Wait just a second.  Really.”

This story was written as part of PYMNTS’ annual April Fools’ Day edition, all in the spirit of good fun. Any resemblance to real news is purely coincidental. We hope you enjoyed it.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

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