A group of payment players announced Tuesday (Nov. 13) that they created a new organization, dubbed U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), aimed at working toward a ubiquitous payment system that enables Americans to safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere and at any time with near-immediate funds availability.
In a press release, the group said the mission, structure and focus of the U.S. Faster Payments Council reflects the perspectives of the 27-member Governance Framework Formation team, which developed the framework for FPC. It said the operating vision for the FPC is the result of more than 1,000 comments from industry players across the payment ecosystem.
“The industry has clearly signaled that, while our nation’s faster payments system capabilities are rapidly innovating, there’s much to be done to promote ubiquity and faster payments adoption,” said Douglas Berg, senior vice president of payment industry relations for Wells Fargo Bank, in the press release. “We encourage our nation’s payments leaders to lend their voices to the future of faster payments by joining the FPC and sharing their insights and expertise to further this important work.”
The creation of the group comes at a time when businesses want to get rid of the paper check, but it still remains the norm across all types of business. According to recent findings in the Real-Time Payments Innovation Playbook, a PYMNTS and Mastercard collaboration, 20 percent of companies surveyed by PYMNTS said they dislike using checks for B2B payments because of fraud concerns, while another 18 percent said checks are too expensive. Yet, almost half of the businesses surveyed use checks to send or receive payments on a daily basis.
The good news: The study also showed that the most innovative businesses are set to adopt real-time payments. Of the survey respondents, one-third said they plan to adopt the technology in the next three years. Among innovation leaders, the percentage was even higher, with 60 percent of the most innovative companies saying they will adopt real-time payments in the next three years.
The FPC said it will focus on private-sector approaches to solving problems in the payments market and addressing issues that prevent the adoption of faster payments. The specific priorities include supporting adoption of practices that enhance safety and security for service providers and users of faster payments; identifying, developing and supporting principles, guidelines and market practices that will address opportunities and emerging issues in an open and collaborative way; and developing an educational and awareness program to foster better understanding of faster payments.
“The Federal Reserve applauds this next step in the evolution of the U.S. payment system,” said Sean Rodriguez, Federal Reserve executive vice president and faster payments strategy leader. “We commend the GFFT’s efforts to come together and embrace the need for a new organization that will help facilitate efforts to modernize our country’s payments system and allow everyone – providers, consumers, businesses and more – to benefit from faster payments.”