Real-time payments: A new era begins

FedNow will provide a ‘round-the-clock, real-time payment and settlement service.’

Monday’s announcement that the Federal Reserve plans to enter the real-time payments business created as much controversy as the wonky world of back-office processing can muster.

FedNow, a “round-the-clock, real-time payment and settlement service,” will offer U.S.  financial institutions an alternative to the RTP rails launched late last year by The Clearing House—once it eventually goes live in 2023 or 2024.

The Fed’s decision—the source of internal and external debate for months—saw proponents and detractors clustering in unusual coalitions.

According to the Fed, more than 90% of responses to its request for comment supported its participation in the real-time arena.


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