The Federal Reserve will test the FedNow system between now and its expected launch in 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Technology Association (FTA) called on the Federal Reserve to ensure the real-time payment benefits of FedNow are made available to consumers through a competitive, diverse set of providers. FTA issued this call as final FedNow rules take effect on October 1, 2022, and the Federal Reserve begins testing the service ahead of its expected launch in 2023.
“FedNow holds great promise to increase competition, improve payments services, and lower costs for consumers,” said Penny Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Technology Association. “Including leading payments companies directly in payments systems like FedNow is the key to making that possibility a reality.”
FedNow, a 24/7 real-time payment and settlement service, could accelerate the availability of real-time payments and help more Americans manage their money in real time. But current policy prevents direct participation in FedNow by payment providers and most non-depository financial institutions, including those that tens of millions of Americans rely on to send and receive money and access digital financial services.
FTA has called on the Federal Reserve and policymakers to ensure that the benefits of FedNow are available to consumers via a broader set of well-regulated payments companies and fintechs. Giving a broader set of firms, including those with so-called novel federal or state banking charters, access to the federal payments infrastructure would substantially lower costs by driving competition and allowing more consumers to benefit from instant payment services. It also ensures that the U.S. keeps a technological lead in the global marketplace.
Unlike other countries, the United States essentially limits direct access to the federal payments system to traditional depository banks. This lack of access creates concentration risks and limits competition between financial institutions. Nearly half of all ACH payment originations nationwide are generated by only two banks, creating the risk of a single point of failure that could have widespread economic impacts.
Read FTA’s comment letter in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s supplemental request on proposed guidelines for access to master accounts and services for more information.
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.