The Federal Reserve System has joined the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) as a founding sponsor, the Fed announced in a press release on Thursday (Dec. 5).
“Our payment system is a vital part of America’s infrastructure that touches everyone,” said Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She is also a sponsor of the Federal Reserve’s payments improvement initiative.
The goal of the FPC and its members is to expedite faster payments in the U.S. so people can make secure payments anytime or anyplace, with near-real-time funds availability. The FPC will also provide education about faster payments and fraud mitigation.
“We can collectively achieve safe, widely available faster payments capabilities that will benefit all by working together with the U.S. Faster Payments Council and other payments stakeholders,” George added.
The Federal Reserve launched the Faster Payments Task Force in 2015, which advised in 2017 that a governance framework should be implemented. As a result, the FPC was created in 2018.
Kenneth C. Montgomery, first vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and a FedNow program executive, said that as a founding sponsor of the FPC, the Fed will be a diligent participant in furthering the council’s priorities.
Connie Theien, senior vice president and director, payments industry relations, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, will represent the Fed on the FPC and manage its involvement. “In many ways, the Fed’s collaboration with the industry to advance faster payments has come full circle, from our work to facilitate the Faster Payments Task Force to full membership in the FPC,” Theien said.
She added that this is a great chance to work together and “design the faster payments ecosystem from the ground up, and tackle “the opportunities and challenges ahead” as the U.S. payment system is improved.
Last year, 20 organizations signed on as founding sponsors, including SHAZAM, ICBA Bancard, Visa, The Bank of New York Mellon, North American Banking Company, Open Payment Network, The Clearing House, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Mastercard and Goldman Sachs Bank USA. They are among the more than 140 current members of the FPC.