The Fed Gets Some Mojo?
Faster Payments May Get Here Faster than We Thought
Some of you may know that I’ve been an ardent advocate for a faster-payments infrastructure in the United States. I’ve been closely following the Fed’s process towards payments system improvements.
On Thursday in San Francisco, I attended one of the Town Hall meetings they’ve been holding to explain the results of their research and to share their preliminary thoughts with a broad (i.e. not just banks!) group of industry participants.
They’ve evaluated multiple options, as is necessary and appropriate given just how big, and how complicated, the U.S. financial services and payments marketplace is. I was delighted to hear that they believe that a new, faster-payments infrastructure may be the best option for our industry. This, they reported, represents thinking from within the Fed – but also, increasingly, from industry participants, based on the results of their public consultation process as well as in-depth research and discussions conducted over the past six months.
Anecdotally, I’ve also been told that there have been only a few “no” responses, heard during multiple Town Halls across the country, to the question: “Should we have a faster payments system in the U.S.?”
We still have a long road ahead of us – how to get this done is not clear. Our market, after all, is not for the faint of heart. But it is encouraging to see the Fed step up to a leadership role in this arena – and to be including in the process so many participants in the industry.
The post was written by Glenbrook’s Carol Coye Benson.