Pressing Forward: Strategizing Faster Payments
The Federal Reserve has a longstanding history of collaborating with industry stakeholders to work toward a shared vision of faster, safer and more efficient U.S. payments. Since 2013, it has published three papers that discuss ways to support implementation of faster payments.
- Payment System Improvement – Consultation Paper (PDF): Shares gaps and opportunities in the U.S. payment system, identifying the desired outcomes that can close these gaps and capture these opportunities. (2013)
- Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF): Provides leadership through stakeholder coordination, public policy and analytical support to assess approaches to implementing fast, secure and efficient payments capabilities that meet end-user needs for faster authorization, clearing, availability of funds and/or settlement. (2015)
- Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System: Federal Reserve Next Steps in the Payments Improvement Journey (PDF): Commits to three new tactics to support the industry’s implementation of faster payments, focusing on facilitating collaborative efforts to develop a safe, ubiquitous faster payments ecosystem and examining the role that Federal Reserve services could play. (2017)
Assessing Faster Payments
From 2015 through 2017, the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force (Off-site) engaged a diverse array of stakeholders to advance Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF). The mission of the Faster Payments Task Force was to identify and assess alternative approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities in the United States.
The task force developed the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria in 2015. This framework was used to evaluate faster payments solution proposals and advance innovation.
The task force concluded its efforts with a two-part final report in 2017 – The U.S. Path to Faster Payments, Final Report Part Two: A Call to Action (Off-site).
Work Groups: Collaborating to Break Down Barriers
The final report of the Faster Payments Task Force, The U.S. Path to Faster Payments, Final Report Part Two: A Call to Action, outlined 10 recommendations for implementing faster payments, whereby all stakeholders collaborate to resolve the issues that will otherwise stand in the way of broad adoption; safety, integrity and trust; and interoperability, as well as take steps to make their internal systems “faster payment- ready.” The Fed supported efforts laid out in these recommendations by convening industry groups to carry out the work outlined by the task force.
- Governance Framework Formation Team (GFFT): Formed in response to Recommendation #1 of the Faster Payments Task Force final report, the GFFT was a short-term work group that designed and established a faster payments governance framework for the U.S. marketplace.
- Directories Work Group (DWG): Formed in response to Recommendation #4 of the Faster Payments Task Force final report, the group evaluated various payment directory models that could enable interoperability in a multi-operator faster payments ecosystem.
- Rules, Standards, Laws and Regulations Work Group (RSLRWG): Formed in response to Recommendations #2 and #3 of the Faster Payments Task Force final report, RSLRWG worked to evaluate existing rules, standards, laws and regulations, and identify gaps or conflicts that might inhibit faster payments.
All three work groups have since concluded. In 2018, the GFFT launched a separate organization called the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) (Off-site). The outputs of the DWG and RSLRWG were provided to the FPC as foundational work toward achieving faster payments ubiquity and adoption.