NEW INSIGHT: How The Fed Is Clearing A Path For Faster Payments

NACHA staff and initiatives

The United States hasn’t had a new payment system for 40 years – until now. And, now that the U.S. has had a taste of faster payments, the country’s Federal Reserve wants to push the industry even further into the future.

The December edition of the PYMNTS Faster Payments Tracker™, powered by NACHA, examines the latest efforts to bring faster payments technology and capabilities to the United States. 

News from around the world of Faster Payments

After spending years behind the faster payments times, the U.S. has completed a successful initial run with its first new payments system in four decades.

The Real-Time Payments (RTP) system, set up by The Clearing House (TCH), was used for the first time to transfer a small sum between two financial institutions (FIs) — U.S. Bank and BNY Mellon. True to its name, the transfer took just three seconds.

And, with the first successful transfer completed, other banks announced support for the RTP system. That included real-time electronic payment and banking solutions provider ACI Worldwide. In news released the day after the trial run, ACI said it had added support for the new instant payments system, including an extension of its existing UP Immediate Payments offering.

The Fed on finding a clear road to getting faster

The U.S. economy, like many others around the world, is rapidly changing as technology providers race to debut and develop new capabilities that make exchanging funds faster, easier and safer.

To ensure that transformation goes as smoothly as possible, the Federal Reserve is again bringing stakeholders together with a focus on an industry-designed governance framework that can support faster payments technology development. This time, the effort is taking the form of the Governance Framework Formation Team. The group, comprised of payments industry executives and stakeholders, was assembled by the Federal Reserve after the Faster Payments Task Force completed its work this summer and issued its final report. 

The group’s goals include faster payments ubiquity by 2020. And, according to recent interviews with two members of the Formation Team — including Connie Theien, senior vice president of industry relations at the Federal Reserve, and Janet Estep, CEO of NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association — those plans are ambitious but achievable.

“By setting that goal, they’ve created a real sense of urgency to drive momentum and get this done,” Theien told PYMNTS. “So far, its really led to a very positive outcome in terms of Task Force recommendations and the roadmap for the future. Now we’re really getting to the point where the rubber hits the road and the industry can collaborate and make some concrete decisions.”

Find the story in the latest edition of the Faster Payments Tracker.

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About the Tracker 

The PYMNTS Faster Payments Tracker™, powered by NACHA, is your go-to resource for staying up-to-date on a month-by-month basis. The Tracker highlights the contributions of different stakeholders, including institutions and technology coming together to make faster payments happen.