Instant Payments Progress

Moving the Needle Toward Instant Payments

In fall 2018, after considering requests from industry stakeholders, the Federal Reserve Board requested comment via a Federal Register notice (Off-site) on potential actions the Federal Reserve could take to facilitate interbank settlement of instant payments.

In response, the Board received more than 400 comments (Off-site) from a wide variety of stakeholders in the U.S. payment system, including financial institutions, individuals, consumer organizations, merchants, service providers, private-sector operators, fintech companies and trade organizations. Of those expressing an opinion, the overwhelming majority called for the Federal Reserve to operate a real-time, interbank gross settlement service for instant payments.

The following year, the Federal Reserve Board announced that the Reserve Banks would develop the FedNowSM Service (Off-site), a new 24x7x365 instant payment service to help bring the benefits of safe, efficient instant payments to communities across the country. The decision to develop the service was based on an assessment of public input and policy criteria regarding the Federal Reserve’s role in the U.S. payment system.

Progress on the FedNow Service

Explore key milestones in the development of the FedNow Service below.

August 2019

FedNow Service Announcement

FedNow Instant Payments

The Federal Reserve announced plans to develop the FedNow Service (Off-site) to enable financial institutions of every size, and in every community across the U.S., to provide safe and efficient instant payment services in near real time, around the clock, every day of the year.

August 2020

Features and Functionality

Payment on the laptop's screen

The Federal Reserve announced the service’s features and functionality (Off-site). Industry feedback and in-depth analysis, including more than 180 comment letters (Off-site) in response to the August 2019 Federal Register notice, helped determine features and design.

January 2021

FedNow Pilot Program

People are voting

The Federal Reserve announced organizations that will participate in the FedNow Pilot Program (Off-site). This program supports the collaborative development, testing and adoption of the service while encouraging development of services and use cases that leverage FedNow Service functionality.

February 2021

Updated Launch Timeline


The Federal Reserve amended the industrywide launch timing for its instant payments platform to 2023. The announcement narrows the delivery timeframe by a full year (Off-site), updating a previous notice in 2019 that indicated industrywide availability in 2023 or 2024.

March 2021

FedNow ISO 20022 specifications

People put gears together

The Federal Reserve released message specifications for the initial launch of its FedNow Service. The FedNow ISO® 20022 specifications (Off-site) define the message flows and formats that the service will leverage when operational in 2023.

October 2021

FedNow Explorer

Welcome to FedNow Explorer; Where pioneers of now are building the future of payments

The Federal Reserve announced the launch of the FedNow Explorer website (Off-site). From instant payment basics and how the FedNow Service works, to information about features, functionality and use cases, the FedNow Explorer digital experience offers the information and guidance needed to plan for the future of payments.

Stay Engaged

Keep up to date on the FedNow Service at (Off-site). And wherever you are in your instant payments journey, FedNow Explorer (Off-site) provides a customized learning path with frequently updated resources and tools to meet your needs.

To help inform the development of the FedNow Service, join the FedNow Community (Off-site) by submitting the participant profile form (Off-site). If you do not wish to commit to the FedNow Community but would like to receive FedNow Service communications, please submit the FedNow Service Interest Form (Off-site).