Payments Exchange

Get Ready to Embrace the Faster Payments Call to Action!

It’s almost time! After much anticipation and preparation the Faster Payments Task Force’s The U.S. Path to Faster Payments Final Report Part Two: Call to Action will be released tomorrow, Friday, July 21. We hope you’re just as excited to embrace the future of faster payments as we are. Prior to the big day, we wanted to give you a few quick reminders on how you can prepare for tomorrow:

  • Refresh yourself on Final Report Part One: The Faster Payments Task Force Approach
    • Part One describes the task force history and background, including a high-level overview of the task force’s products and processes, the payments landscape and benefits of faster payments
  • Watch for the press release first thing in the morning
  • Plan to attend the Faster Payments Task Force live broadcast at 10:30 a.m. CT
    • Don’t worry if you can’t make it, a recording will be made available on the site in the near future
  • Prepare to download and read The U.S. Path to Faster Payments Final Report Part Two: Call to Action!

As the final hours leading up to the report release tick away, listen to Faster Payments Task Force participant Christina Tetreault discuss how faster payments will benefit you, the consumer, and how the task force was able to take a cacophony of industry voices and turn them into a symphony.

For additional reminders, updates and content stay tuned to the site or follow us on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Engage Your Inner Innovator: Review the Capability Showcase and Its Cutting Edge Ideas for Real-time Payments

In this day and age, innovation is happening all around us. Whether it’s new medical procedures, alternative energy sources or groundbreaking new smartphone features, legacy technology is constantly being updated and improved. One area that the Faster faster payments bulb imagePayments Task Force believes is ripe for innovation is the U.S. payment system. Enter the Capability Showcase, a platform for the best and brightest minds from the payments industry to showcase their ideas for improvement.

The Capability Showcase, which kicked off in early 2016, was yet another mile marker on the path to faster payments. The showcase aimed at fostering innovation by providing an opportunity for payments solution providers to submit faster payment capabilities for an improved payment system. While capabilities put forth in the showcase are not intended to address all the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria, or provide for a complete, end-to-end payments solution, capabilities are meant to address one or more of the Effectiveness Criteria and are intended to serve as a component of an effective end-to-end payments solution. Take a trip down memory lane and review some of the creative, innovative submissions that preceded the full faster payment solution submissions. Also, check back Friday, July 21, to see the full solution proposals unveiled with the release of the Final Report Part Two.

Build upon Your Faster Payments Knowledge: Understand Why the Effectiveness Criteria Are a Milestone Achievement

When over 300 industry stakeholders came together in 2015, one of the first questions they sought to tackle was – “What do we need in a faster payments system in the United States?” Through an iterative process, and coordination with the Secure Payments Task Force, the Faster Payments Task Force developed the 36 Effectiveness Criteria. The criteria are a description of stakeholder needs that serve as a guide for innovation in the industry and provided the foundation by which the faster payment solution proposals were assessed. Watch as Jan Estep of NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association, discusses the milestone that is the Effectiveness Criteria and how the criteria set a high bar for future solutions in the United States.

Creating a real-time U.S payments system will take the collaboration of all payments industry participants. Continue to build your knowledge with us this week as we prepare for the release of the Final Report Part Two this Friday, July 21.

GET READY! Word of the Week: Real-Time

Ready for faster payments? The Faster Payments Task Force sure is! The past few weeks we have been highlighting all the great work of the task force over the past two Real-Time Word of the Week Artyears, in anticipation of the release of part two of their final report – The U.S. Path to Faster Payments: A Call to Action. As for your ‘call to action’? Tune in on Friday, July 21 for the official release of the report via a live broadcast program. In the meantime, get ready for faster payments by following our posts all week, starting with the ‘Word of the Week’ below.

A word that gets frequent use both on this site and throughout the payments industry is “real-time.” Whenever you read about payments improvement, chances are you’ll find “real-time” mentioned somewhere in the text. But you might be surprised to learn what it actually means in the context of payments, and to understand if faster payments and real-time payments are the same thing?

In relation to payments, the task forces defined real-time as “immediate/without delay.” If a friend sends you a payment via their smartphone, the money is available to you immediately. Since our current payment system does not easily support immediate payments, a shift to real-time capabilities would indeed make payments faster. Be sure to keep this in mind while you’re reading Final Report Part Two on July 21. Visit the Glossary of Terms to learn more task force vernacular.

Taking a Cacophony to a Symphony

What happens when you take an industry leader and catalyst and pair it with diverse collection of passionate payments thought leaders from all different backgrounds and all over the U.S? You get a Faster Payments Task Force working tirelessly and collaboratively to make real-time payments that are secure a reality for both businesses and consumers alike.

Over the last couple of years leading up to The U.S. Path to Faster Payments, Final Report Part One, this group has brought an immense amount of good will to the table to develop and deliver the Task Force Glossary of Terms and the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria. This all culminates in the forthcoming Final Report Part Two which outlines what needs to take place to truly achieve a real-time payments system. Watch the video to hear more!

Learn About the Anatomy of a Payment

Making a payment involves much more than just swiping/inserting your card or tapping your smartphone. Did you realize there are numerous phases or combinations of phases taking place behind the scenes? The release of The U.S. Path to Faster Payments, Final Report Part One: The Faster Payments Task Force Approach highlighted how payments are processed in the U.S. payment landscape. With the Final Report Part Two just around the corner, it’s important to develop a basic understanding of payments. We’re here to help! Learn about the full anatomy of a payment with this handy infographic and read the Final Report Part One!

Anatomy of a payment infographic

Word of the Week: Interoperability

In preparation for the release of the Final Report Part Two, let’s take a look at another word that matters. Do you know what interoperability means? One of the most critical factors in interoperability word of week artdeveloping a real-time payment system in the U.S. and a key topic in the forthcoming report is common standards and technical compatibility between payment systems. *Interoperability is the ability to process Payment Instructions across Payment Systems or platforms. For example:

  • The ISO® 20022 messaging format drives interoperability by providing a harmonized set of XML messaging standards based on a shared data dictionary and business process model. The use of this messaging format enables a single, common “language” for global financial communications. In other words, XML acts like an interpreter of languages but applies that concept to financial data rather than conversations.

To get familiar with payment terms commonly used by the task force before the release of the Final Report Part Two, check out our Task Force Glossary of Terms.

* As defined by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Glossary.

Refresh Yourself on the Effectiveness Criteria

In order to achieve its objective of identifying effective faster payments capabilities, the Faster Payments Task Force had to define what was necessary to achieve an effective  real-time payment system. What would this look like and how would you know it if you saw it?

The over 300 stakeholders on the task force worked tirelessly to develop the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria, which is both a description of stakeholder needs that can be used to assess faster payments solutions and also a guide for innovation in the payments industry. As we move closer to the release of Final Report Part Two later this month, review these foundational Effectiveness Criteria, inclusive of six categories and 36 overall criteria critical for a real-time payment system.

Save the Date for the Faster Payments Task Force Live Broadcast

The U.S. payment system is quickly evolving as new technologies, innovations, and expectations are beginning to change the way businesses and consumers make payments. But legacy systems still dictate the way money is transferred between people, businesses and governments.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join leaders from the Faster Payments Task Force on July 21 at 10:30 a.m. CT as they announce 10 recommendations that will chart the course for making payments faster and more accessible to everyone. This online event will be broadcast live from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and streamed via to audiences across the globe.

Registration is not required to view the broadcast. You can, however, add it to your calendar to ensure you turn in right when the broadcast starts.

add to calendar image


July 21, 2017
at 10:30 a.m. CT



During the broadcast, industry leaders will share their perspective regarding the benefits of a faster payment system for businesses and consumers, as well as steps the industry can take to build momentum toward a faster, safer, more ubiquitous payment system in the U.S.

Faster Payments Task Force leadership will participate in a conversation moderated by Sean Rodriguez, the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Strategy Leader. Panelists include:

  • Jan Estep, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association
  • Steve Ledford, The Clearing House (TCH)
  • Tom Rea, U.S. Bank
  • Jim Reuter, FirstBank Colorado
  • Christina Tetreault, Consumers Union
  • Bradley Wilkes, WingCash LLC

Watch live to be one of the first to hear and learn how the payments industry is working together to achieve a safe, ubiquitous, faster payment system that will benefit all.

Word of the Week: Ubiquitous

When the Faster Payments Task Force first began their work to identify and assess alternative approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities in the United States they realized early on: words matter. That mantra has stuck with themword of the week ubiquitous art throughout the two years of collaboration and work products, manifesting into the Task Force Glossary of Terms. In the time leading up to, and following, the release of Final Report Part Two we’ll be highlighting some of the glossary terms to level-set your understanding or their use throughout the report.

Ubiquitous is a word we refer to quite frequently when discussing improvements to the U.S. payment system, but what exactly does it mean in relation to payments? In the world of payments, ubiquitous refers to a payment system that can reach all accounts to ensure that a payer has the ability to pay any entity. In other words, a ubiquitous payment system is one where anyone can pay anyone no matter where they bank or who they are (individual, business, etc.). For example:

  • Bob and Jane went to dinner at a restaurant that does not allow split checks, so Jane paid for them both. Bob, who is a customer of Financial Institution A, wants to pay Jill, who is a customer of Financial Institution B, for his half of the bill. In a ubiquitous payment system, the fact that they each bank with a different institution does not matter because both Bob and Jane are able to make payments that can reach any entity.
  • You had a mobile pet grooming service come to your house to give your dog a haircut and bath. When it comes time to pay, you find out that the groomer only receives payments from the BizPay* smartphone app, while you use the PayBuddy* smartphone app. This would not be an issue in a ubiquitous payment system because you would be able to make and receive payments between all types of payment apps.

For more information on commonly used payment terms, and to brush up on task force lingo before the release of the Final Report Part Two in late July, check out our Task Force Glossary of Terms.

*Fictional entities.