Today, July 24, 2017, the Federal Reserve announced the conclusion of the Faster Payments Task Force it established in May 2015 to find ways to implement faster payments in the United States. The Task Force was part of a strategy to achieve ubiquitous, safe, faster payments for U.S. consumers and businesses, as outlined in the January 2015 paper “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF).” The 300-plus member group is comprised of financial institutions, consumer groups, payment service providers, financial technology firms, merchants, government agencies, and other interested parties.
The Task Force completed its work on July 21 with the issuance of a final report entitled, “The U.S. Path to Faster Payments: A Call to Action (PDF).”
“The Task Force has accomplished groundbreaking work to define what stakeholders expect from a future payment system and how industry collaboration can help to deliver it,” said Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who is leading the Federal Reserve’s payments improvement initiatives. “The level of collaboration within this large and diverse group of stakeholders was encouraging and productive.”
The Faster Payments Task Force report, available at FasterPaymentsTaskForce.org, includes 16 proposed solutions assessed using task force-defined effectiveness criteria, a discussion of challenges related to implementing faster payments, and 10 recommendations for ongoing industry collaboration and action, several of which call for Federal Reserve action or support.
The report calls for payment system stakeholders to create a better payment system in which all payment service providers are capable of receiving faster payments and making those funds available to customers in real time.
The report also makes specific recommendations describing the infrastructure needed to support faster payments and the need to address evolving security threats, meet changing end-user needs, and foster continuous innovation through new technologies.
“The Federal Reserve appreciates the work of the task force and is reviewing its recommendations,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome H. Powell, who co-chairs the payments improvement initiative oversight committee. “We are committed to advancing payment system improvements and look forward to communicating our next steps in the coming weeks.”
The Federal Reserve has a wide-ranging participatory role in the payments system, helping to ensure efficiency, integrity and accessibility. The Federal Reserve promotes these qualities as a leader, catalyst for change and provider of payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. Treasury.