Faster Payments Settlement Assessment

Federal Register Notice: Your Opportunity to Comment on the Fed’s Proposed Settlement Actions

The Federal Reserve System Board of Governors is seeking public input on actions the Federal Reserve could take to facilitate real-time interbank settlement of faster payments. The proposed actions and request for comment are described in a Federal Register Notice (Off-site) (Notice) that was announced October 3 by Governor Lael Brainard at the FedPayments Improvement Community Forum in Chicago (Off-site).

The settlement infrastructure concepts outlined in the Notice are intended to advance public policy goals for faster payments and help support the modernization of the financial services sector’s provision of payment services. These potential actions take into consideration requests from stakeholders, including the Faster Payments Task Force (Off-site) as outlined in its final report.

The Board is not committing to any specific actions at this time or in the future, but it is committing to transparent communication with the public after reviewing the responses to this notice and determining next steps, which may include issuing a request for comment on specific services or, alternatively, no additional action.

How to Comment

Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their comments for the Board’s review and consideration by December 14, 2018. All public comments will be posted (Off-site) to the Board’s website as submitted. Interested parties may choose from among five alternatives for submitting their comments:

  • Federal Reserve website: (Off-site) Follow the online instructions (Off-site) for submitting comments.
  • Email: regs.comments@federalreserve.gov; include docket number OP-1625 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.
  • Mail: Ann Misback, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20551.

Town Halls

The Federal Reserve will hold public Town Hall meetings in its 12 districts to discuss the Federal Register Notice with stakeholders across the nation. During these Town Halls, Fed representatives will provide an overview of the conceptual approaches presented in the notice, answer questions about the potential actions outlined, and facilitate dialogue with other stakeholders. Space may be limited at a Town Hall near you – RSVP today! (Off-site)

Background

Our society increasingly operates in ‘real-time,’ on a 24x7x365 basis, with technology changing the ways people interact, conduct commerce and access information. With these technological advancements comes an opportunity to improve the payment experience of individuals, households, and businesses. Faster payments provide convenience and economic benefit.  They can be initiated and received at any time of day, any day, with funds immediately available, so recipients can better manage their money. And while different types of faster payments are emerging in the payment system, they do not enable senders to reach any recipient in a seamless way on a nationwide basis. In addition, interbank settlement for some of these payments can lag by more than a day to be complete, posing risks that need to be managed.

As part of its overall mission, the Federal Reserve has a fundamental interest in ensuring there is a safe and robust settlement infrastructure on which the private sector can provide innovative payment services that serve the broad public interest.  We believe aligning settlement speed to the real-time nature of the underlying payment would provide the most safe and efficient foundation for the next generation of payment services.

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