Faster Payments

The Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF) paper identified the need for faster payments, specifically effective approach(es) for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments.

In the paper, the Federal Reserve committed to providing leadership in the form of stakeholder coordination, public policy perspective and analytical support to assess approaches to implementing faster payments capabilities that meet end-user needs for faster authorization, clearing, availability of funds and/or settlement.

From its inception in Spring 2015 through the release of their final work product in Summer 2017, the Faster Payments Task Force facilitated broad stakeholder coordination.

With input from a broad array of interested stakeholders, the Faster Payments Task Force assessed options for achieving faster payments capabilities in order to identify approaches that would best achieve the desired outcomes.

The Federal Reserve pursued the following tactics as part of this faster payments strategy:

  • Establish and lead a Faster Payments Task Force
  • Work collaboratively with the task force and with the input of other payment system stakeholders, assess alternative approaches for faster payments capabilities, including, for each approach, a description of the core infrastructure, security and operational changes needed for participants to interface with the infrastructure, and the estimated cost and time to implement
  • Examine policy issues associated with a possible multi-provider environment, such as the framework for establishing rules
  • Based on this stakeholder input and analysis, identify effective approach(es) for implementing faster payments in the United States
  • Support, as appropriate, collective stakeholder efforts to implement faster payments capabilities

Learn more about the Faster Payments Task Force.

Why pursue faster payment capabilities in the U.S.?

  • Despite high levels of innovation in the U.S. payment system, a lack of coordination is creating fragmentation, inhibiting ubiquity and creating confusion
  • Several countries have developed/are developing ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities and the United States is at risk of falling behind
  • There is clear stakeholder momentum in the United States to pursue faster retail payments on a comprehensive, industry-wide basis
  • Faster payments capabilities have the potential to draw more of the unbanked/underbanked population into the financial mainstream