CUNA Urges Fed to Serve Add’l Roles In Payments Delivery

WASHINGTON -- CUNA urged the Federal Reserve this week to serve additional operational roles in the delivery of real-time payments in a letter sent this week with 2 other trade organizations. While the letter praises the Fed for its role facilitating dialogue regarding the payments system, it urged the agency to go one step further.

“We strongly encourage the ongoing commitment of the Federal Reserve to lead and catalyze payments industry activities until the desired outcomes stated in the 2015 ‘Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payments System’ paper are achieved,” the letter reads

Specifically, the organizations believe the Fed could:

  • Serve as an on-ramp to real-time payments, leveraging its connectivity among financial institutions to provide all financial institutions access to real-time payments;
  • Serve as an operator for real-time payments. This is a role that the Federal Reserve currently provides for checks, automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments, and wire transfers; and
  • Operate a payments directory which could link to financial institutions, as well as to other private sector payments directories.

These potential operating roles are consistent and in accordance with the current Federal Reserve policies on payments system participation, according to the organizations.

“Lastly, we want to underscore that we are not requesting the Federal Reserve to develop rules or standards for real-time payments. This should be left for private sector rules and standards organizations,” the letter reads. “Just as with checks, ACH payments, and wire transfers, it is within the authority of the Federal Reserve as an operator to establish policies and issue operating circulars to guide its product offerings.”

In addition to CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, the letter was signed by NAFCU President/CEO Dan Berger and Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) President/CEO Camden Fine.

For more information, see CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog.


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