Fed officially launches FedNow instant payment service
On July 20, the Federal Reserve Board launched its FedNow service for instant payments. Banks and credit unions of any size can sign up and use the tool to instantly transfer money for their customers at any time of day on any day of the year, the Fed said. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Fed began formally certifying participants to use the service in April. Early adopters completed a customer testing and certification program in preparation for sending live transactions through the system. In addition to these early adopting banks and credit unions (and the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service), 16 service providers are also ready to support payment processing for participants. Once fully available, “instant payments will provide substantial benefits for consumers and businesses, such as when rapid access to funds is useful, or when just-in-time payments help manage cash flows in bank accounts,” the Fed explained. The Fed expects that customers of FedNow participants will eventually be able to use a financial institution’s mobile app, website, and other interfaces to send instant payments quickly and securely. As an interbank payment system, FedNow will operate alongside other Fed payment services, including Fedwire and FedACH.