US Treasury Pledges 99% Electronic Payments by 2030

Digital Payments

The U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service says it wants nearly all payments coming out of the Treasury to happen electronically within the next nine years. In its annual letter to chief financial officers, the Bureau lists the move to 99% electronic payments by 2030 as one of its financial management goals.

“The past year has validated our vision for the future of financial management and confirmed the importance of embracing agile methodologies in the delivery of our products and services,” writes Bureau Commissioner Tim Gribben. “As federal financial management leaders, our responsibilities have expanded with new programs to help Americans through the pandemic.”

The Bureau’s other goals outlined in the letter include:

  • The ability to stop improper payments before they are disbursed by 2026
  • An increase in the digitization of paper collections
  • A 25% reduction of the paper volume processed through the Bureau’s General Lockbox Network by 2024
  • A conversion of 25% of the Treasury’s General Account Network transactions from cash/check deposits to electronic by 2025
  • The launch of a new electronic tax collection system “that provides a modern, seamless customer experience” by 2024

The Bureau says it arrived at these goals after listening to CFOs and their teams.

“We heard about what’s working, what can be improved and issues that are specific to agencies,” the letter says. “Moving forward, we are looking toward the future through the eyes of our customers and sharpening our focus on the roles and responsibilities of the Fiscal Service.”

The Bureau’s initiative comes at a time when many small businesses are still struggling with payments that come to them via check.

Read more: Checks Are Still ‘Huge Pain in the Butt’ for B2Bs, but Change Is Coming

As PYMNTS research with Ingo Money found, 40% of small business sales come through non-recurring relationships with buyers, almost all of whom send their suppliers a check for the product or service, which means trillions of dollars in sales that aren’t instantly paid.

“Nobody chooses to get paid by check,” noted Ingo’s Drew Edwards. “Because getting a check is not getting paid. You have to deposit it first, either a remote deposit or go to the bank personally and cash it. You have to do something to convert it into real money.”