Task Force Report Points to Real-Time Payments by 2020

The Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force yesterday released its long-awaited recommendations for accelerating real-time payments in the United States with a goal of real-time payment ubiquity by 2020. The 10 recommendations cover governance issues, payments infrastructure and the sustainability and evolution of the payments system.

Specifically, the task force called for a voluntary, industry-led governance framework; a shared set of payments rules, standards and baseline requirements; and changes to Fed regulations to ensure they are up to date and reflect the goal of faster payments. For infrastructure, the group called for an inclusive working group to develop a “directory design for solutions to interoperate in the faster payments system,” for the Fed to develop enhanced 24/7/365 settlement mechanisms and for the Fed to explore its appropriate operational role in faster payments.

To ensure faster payments remain secure, ubiquitous and technologically up-to-date, the task force recommended shared methods of fraud detection and information sharing, broad education and advocacy programs to promote adoption, more research to address gaps in cross-border payments and continued investigation of emerging technologies.

The American Bankers Association welcomed the recommendations, which ABA VP Steve Kenneally said “emphasize market competition and industry-led development, not top-down government mandates.” Kenneally is a member of the task force, which also included more than 70 ABA member bankers — including five who served on the task force’s steering committee.