Skip to main content
Federal Reserve Press Release Image

Federal Reserve Highlights Progress in Efforts to Improve U.S. Payment System

For immediate release

February 2, 2016

In a report (Off-site) that comes one year after the publication of its Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (Off-site), the Federal Reserve on Tuesday detailed the progress made and outlined anticipated steps for moving forward with its initiative to enhance payment system speed, efficiency, and security.

To date, the January 2015 initiative has resulted in the creation of two task forces comprised of more than 500 industry participants devoted to bringing about faster and more secure payments in the United States. The task forces have compiled 36 criteria that describe desired attributes of a faster payment system and can be used to assess the effectiveness of potential solutions.

Other important accomplishments include efforts to enhance payment system efficiency through work on standards, directories, and business-to-business payment improvements. In addition, joint efforts with industry participants recently resulted in a plan to implement the financial messaging standard ISO 20022 for U.S. wire transfer systems and advanced plans to implement widespread same-day ACH (automated clearing house) settlement.

"We have seen many of the strategies and tactics included in the plan come to life through broad, unprecedented stakeholder support," said Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City who is leading the initiative. "When implemented, the strategies will contribute to public confidence and the global competitiveness of the U.S. payment system."

Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome H. Powell, who co-chairs the initiative’s oversight committee, said: "Our progress this past year is a consequence of the engagement and commitment of a diverse group of payment system stakeholders. Their ongoing collaboration will be essential in creating a payment system that offers greater speed, security and efficiency."

Videos of George and Powell discussing the effort to improve the payments system are available online at: (Off-site).

Moving forward, the Federal Reserve will continue to be a leader and a catalyst for improving the payment system, engaging in broad collaboration to benefit all payments participants, including financial institutions, businesses and consumers.

Media Contacts:

Top of Page