Where in the World is FedPayments Improvement? March Edition

Spring conference season is gearing up and we’re ready to hit the road and engage with the industry. Four leaf clovers and pots of gold may be tough to find, but FedPayments Improvement is anything but that, so put away your lucky charm, because you won’t need it to find us this spring. Here’s our schedule for March:

ConferenceDate/TimeSession TitleSpeaker
Cash Management Forum 2017March 22, 9:00 a.m.Payments Infrastructure Modernization - Maintaining Security in a Faster WorldTodd Aadland

We regularly attend events to discuss improvements to the U.S. payment system with payment system stakeholders. This collective and collaborative approach is key to implementing enduring strategic improvements to the U.S. payment system. If we have a booth at an industry event, please stop by or reserve time to speak with Federal Reserve experts. To view our schedule beyond the current month, please visit our industry events page.

Learn how Continued Collaboration Drives Meaningful Change in our Latest Webinar Series

This month we’ll be hosting a webinar series that will go into further detail on the 2016 accomplishments and 2017 plans discussed in our recently released Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System – January 2017 Progress Report. Specifically, the webinars will focus on the work-to-date of both the Faster and Secure Payments Task Forces, education and recent developments in support of payments efficiency initiatives and stakeholder engagement opportunities across all strategy efforts.

We will be offering the webinar on two separate dates and times in the month of March:

Webinar 1 – 2017 Progress Report: In Pursuit of a Better Payment System
Date/time: March 15 2:00 p.m. ET
Host: Connie Theien, Senior Vice President and Director, Payments Industry Relations, Federal Reserve System

Webinar 2 – 2017 Progress Report: In Pursuit of a Better Payment System
Date/time: March 29 11:30 a.m. ET
Host: Dan Gonzalez, Vice President, Payments Industry Relations, Federal Reserve System

Find more details on these events and other education offerings as well as previous event summaries and recordings by visiting Fed Events. Ready to join us? Register now and choose either the March 15 or March 29 session.

Two Years, Five Strategies, Continuous Progress: Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System Turns Two

As we enter into 2017, it’s hard to believe that it has only been two years since we published Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System, our multi-year plan that focuses on end-to-end improvement of the speed, efficiency and security of our country’s payment system. To commemorate another year of substantive industry progress and momentum across the payments industry, the Federal Reserve released a Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System – January 2017 Progress Report, which highlights accomplishments as well as plans for 2017.

“The Fed’s priority is to advance improvements that are in the public interest so that consumers and businesses alike have access to efficient, real-time and highly secure payments in the United States,” said Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who is leading the payment system improvement initiatives on behalf of the Federal Reserve “Through a number of collaborative efforts, the industry is making real progress on all fronts and we’re expecting to achieve a number of significant milestones in 2017.”

The progress report details the work-to-date of two payments industry task forces and efforts to enhance payment system efficiency through work on standards, directories and business-to-business payment improvements.

Faster Payments Task Force accomplishments include:

  • Fielded and commissioned an independent assessment of 22 faster payments solution proposals against the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria released in February 2016, 19 of which voluntarily progressed through a review by the 500+ participants of the two task forces.
  • Analyzed potential challenges to successful faster payments implementation, focusing on provider interoperability, rules and standards, governance, adoption, safety and security.
  • Today, published part one of a two-part final report that provides a high-level overview of the task force’s background and processes, the payments landscape, and the benefits of faster payments.

Secure Payments Task Force accomplishments include:

  • Launched work to address the industry’s most pressing payment system security issues: identity management, data protection, and fraud and risk information-sharing.
  • Mapped existing identity management practices in end-to-end payment flows in order to identify opportunities for improvements.
  • Defined the guiding principles for protecting sensitive data associated with payments, serving as a foundation for building a more comprehensive data protection framework for industry participants.
  • Inventoried current industry efforts to share information for fraud and risk prevention and mitigation.

Other important accomplishments included in the progress report stem from efforts to enhance payment system efficiency through work on standards, directories and business-to-business payment improvements. In addition, joint efforts with industry participants have accelerated plans to implement the financial messaging standard ISO 20022 for U.S. wire transfer systems and widespread same-day ACH (automated clearing house) settlement.

For a full summary of our 2016 accomplishments and insight on what’s to come in the year ahead, we invite you to read our Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System – January 2017 Progress Report.

Engage for Change

To receive communications and invitations to provide input on these initiatives, join the FedPayments Improvement Community. You can also follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest events and developments.

Federal Reserve Payments Study Highlights Strong Trends in Card Use

From 2012 to 2015, credit and debit (including prepaid and non-prepaid) card payments continued to gain ground in the payments landscape, accounting for more than two-thirds of all core noncash payments in the United States, according to a Federal Reserve study of U.S. non-cash payments released December 22, 2016. Automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments grew modestly over the same period, and check payments declined at a slower rate than in the past.

The 2016 Federal Reserve Payments Study, which presents 2015 payments data, found that the number of domestic core non-cash payments totaled an estimated 144 billion – up 5.3 percent annually from 2012. The total value of these transactions increased 3.4 percent over the same period to nearly $178 trillion.

For more information, including additional key findings, review the initial data release report. Additional detailed information will be released in 2017 as the results of further analysis become final.

The Coalition Expands its Mission

It has now been five years since the Remittance Coalition was formed and since its founding, the Coalition has experienced tremendous growth and evolution (and they’re not done yet!). As part of its anniversary, the Remittance Coalition will henceforth be known as the Business Payments Coalition. Along with its new name, the Business Payments Coalition has also broadened their mission statement beyond remittance to encompass overall payments efficiency.

“Since it was formed as the Remittance Coalition five years ago, the Business Payments Coalition has evolved into a nationally respected organization that champions B2B payments efficiency and security. It is a true model of industry collaboration, with hundreds of active and effective volunteers from a wide variety of organizations including businesses of all sizes and types, banks, standards development organizations, consultants, software and technology vendors, and many others. By creating and publishing standards and technical reports, identifying ‘best practice’ business processes and promoting their use, educating about payment and remittance standards, and advocating ways to overcome barriers to straight-through processing, the Coalition has made real progress in achieving its goal of improving the efficiency of B2B payments across the end-to-end process.”

Claudia Swendseid
Senior Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Founding Member, Business Payments Coalition (formerly the Remittance Coalition)

You can expect to see more progress from the Business Payments Coalition as work groups drawn from over 550 Coalition members continue to work toward increasing the efficiency of B2B payments by all types and sizes of U.S. businesses.

Join the Business Payments Coalition

Participation in the Coalition is free and open to any individual or organization interested in the Coalition’s objectives. Register now! You will receive a welcome packet, be added to the Coalition distribution list and be invited to participate in specific Coalition initiatives that may interest you.

Want to Learn More?

Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or send an email to business.payments.smb@mpls.frb.org.

Can the United States Develop a Standard, Ubiquitous Business to Business (B2B) Electronic Invoice & Processing Platform?

Explore the possibility by reading the U.S. Adoption of Electronic Invoicing: Challenges and Opportunities paper release by the Payment, Standards and Outreach Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

In keeping with the desired outcome of end-to-end efficiency detailed in the Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System paper, the main goal of  U.S. Adoption of Electronic Invoicing: Challenges and Opportunities  is to consider the development and implementation of a standard, ubiquitous B2B electronic invoice and processing platform in the U.S. similar to those that have been developed in other countries. The paper also highlights:

  • Opportunities for businesses to:
    • Gain efficiencies and reduce costs by more broadly adopting e-invoicing
    • Expand into other areas of the financial supply chain
    • Reduce payment risk and late fees
  • Societal benefits from a reduction in paper invoices
  • Challenges stemming from a lack of:
    • Information technology resources to implement change
    • A compelling individual business case among smaller businesses
    • Common, unified standards or translation software to facilitate change
    • Industry-led coordination, collaboration and leadership to develop a strategy for change

Download the full version of U.S. Adoption of Electronic Invoicing: Challenges and Opportunities paper today!

A Great Resource Just got Even Better: Check out the Newly Updated Small Business Payments Toolkit

In April 2015, the Remittance Coalition released the Small Business Payments Toolkit and now, we are pleased to announce the release of the second volume. Volume 2 is chock-full of new information to further encourage the adoption of electronic business-to-business payments and remittance information exchanges by small businesses. Financial institutions, consultants, small businesses and anyone else interested in learning more about payments should download this free resource now.

Overview of New Updates

  • Working with your Banker now has information on getting started with ACH origination, ACH returns and notifications of change and a sample trading partner agreement to start receiving ACH payments
  • Fraud Prevention and Mitigation Tips now speaks to bank services that could help a small business combat payments fraud
  • Resources has been updated to provide helpful information on ACH checklists and forms, bank holidays, regional payments associations, health care information and links to previously recorded education webinars on the toolkit
  • New sections were added to address EMV and chip cards, alternative payments and business continuity planning

Don’t miss out on these valuable new updates! Download the Small Business Payments Toolkit, Volume 2 today!

Register for a Webinar to Learn About the Benefits of ISO® 20022 Adoption for the Major U.S. Wire Transfer Systems

The Federal Reserve Banks have been collaborating with several other organizations known as the Stakeholder Group to prepare for the adoption of the ISO® 20022 standard for domestic and international wire payments.

ISO 20022 is a robust financial messaging standard that supports the end-to-end flow of payment information from the originator to the beneficiary. Some of the great benefits of ISO 20022 payment messages include, but are not limited to:

  • Support for rich payment data
  • Discrete fields to carry specific data elements (e.g., longer name fields, address information and structured remittance information)
  • Improved straight-through processing and compliance screening due to additional payment data
  • Facilitation of both cross-border interoperability and domestic interoperability between U.S. wire transfer systems and the SWIFT® messaging network

Register for the event offered on May 17 by visiting the Fed Events page. Check out the Fed’s Resource Center for Adoption of ISO® 20022 for Wire Transfers and ACH Payments for more details on the strides made toward adoption of the standard.

Register Now

Find out How Industry Collaboration Leads to Progress in our Latest Webinars

We are hosting two webinars that discuss how industry collaboration over the last year has led to substantial progress on the initiatives outlined in Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System. The first webinar will give you an overview of the industry progress made over the past year, while the second webinar gives an in-depth look at the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria developed by the Faster Payments Task Force.

Webinar 1 – Progress Report: In Pursuit of a Better Payment System

Date/time: March 21, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET or April 7, 11:00 a.m. – Noon ET
Topics discussed:

Webinar 2 – Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria: What’s Next?

Date/time: March 23, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET or March 30, Noon – 1:00 p.m. ET
Topics discussed:

Find more details on these events and other education offerings, including how the Federal Reserve is making strides to adopt ISO 20022 in the U.S. for wire transfer systems as well as previous event summaries and recordings, by visiting Fed Events. Ready to join us? Register now for the Progress Report: In Pursuit of a Better Payment System and/or Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria-What’s Next? webinar(s).