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Federal Reserve Banks Share Vision, Seek Feedback on U.S. Payment System

credit cardA recent consultation paper by the Federal Reserve Banks identifies gaps, opportunities, and desired outcomes in the U.S. payment system. In conjunction with the paper, released on September 10, the Fed is also seeking input from industry stakeholders about future improvements to the system.

Changing environment brings challenges, opportunities
The ideas outlined in "Payment System Improvement—Public Consultation Paper" are informed by the Fed's recent analysis of the payment environment. The paper describes several gaps and opportunities that center on such themes as speed and efficiency, closed payment communities, challenges in international payments, burgeoning mobile technologies, and gaps in traditional payment channels.

According to the report, "the challenge for the industry is to provide a payment system for the future that combines the valued attributes of legacy payment methods—convenience, safety, and universal reach at low cost to the end user—with new technology that enables faster processing, enhanced convenience, and the extraction and use of valuable information that accompanies payments."

Share feedback via survey, forums
The paper includes roughly 20 survey questions. In addition to requesting feedback on the gaps, opportunities, and vision detailed in the paper, the Fed is also asking for input on potential strategies to improve the U.S. payment system and the Reserve Banks' role in implementing them.

The Reserve Banks will accept written comments until December 13, 2013. Payment system providers and end users can also share their feedback in person at a number of Fed and industry forums over the next several months. Additional information about these events is available at The Reserve Banks will also host open forums, the final dates and locations of which are forthcoming.

The input gathered via the survey and forums "will help the Reserve Banks as they move to define and prioritize U.S. payment system improvement initiatives that advance the speed, efficiency and security of payments," the Fed's Financial Services Policy Committee said in a press release.

September 27, 2013