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Fed Unveils Strategies for U.S. Payments System Improvements
Friday, January 30, 2015 6:25 AM

A paper released this week by the Federal Reserve, "Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System," features the agency's recommendations for improvement from the perspective of payment system service providers.

According to the Fed, the payment system in this country is at a "critical juncture in its evolution," with a changing technological landscape that features high-speed data networks, sophisticated mobile devices, and increasing real-time information processing. While this is changing the nature of commerce, rapid and evolving threats threaten security of data and the payment system itself.

To achieve these goals, the Fed has identified the following strategies to improve the payments system:

  • Actively engage with stakeholders on initiatives, including establishing and improving mechanisms for stakeholders to provide input and provide additional opportunities for those groups to stay informed about the latest developments;
  • Identify effective approaches for implementing a safe, faster, ubiquitous payments capability. This will include establishing a faster-payments task force in the coming months and creating a framework for implementing faster payments by 2016;
  • Work to reduce fraud and advance the safety, security, and resiliency of the payment system. This includes establishing a payments security task force to provide advice and determine priorities, as well as exploring improvements to the Fed's anti-fraud and risk-management capabilities;
  • Achieve greater end-to-end efficiency for domestic and cross-border payments, including developing a strategy to accelerate secure electronic business-to-business, person-to-person, and person-to-business payments; and
  • Expand the operating hours and other capabilities of Fed payments, risk-management services, and interbank settlement for check payments. This includes same-day automated clearinghouse capabilities.

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle responded to the paper, saying, "As the next generation of a payments framework is developed, credit unions need the ability to access the latest technology without undue regulatory restrictions or high implementation costs."

Nussle said CUNA looks forward to continuing to work with its payments system partners, which includes the Fed, NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association, the National Credit Union Administration, and others.