FEDERAL RESERVE TO LAUNCH DIGITAL PAYMENTS SYSTEM “FEDNOW” IN JULY FOR RAPID MONEY MOVEMENT AND LOWER COSTS

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The Federal Reserve will introduce its digital payments system, FedNow, in July. The system promises to expedite the movement of money, allowing for faster and more affordable bill payments, money transfers such as paychecks and disbursements from the government, and other consumer activities. According to Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, who is the program’s executive sponsor, FedNow will create “a leading-edge payments system that is resilient, adaptive, and accessible.”

To prepare for the launch, participants must complete a training and certification process in early April, as announced by the Fed. Financial institutions and their industry partners are encouraged to make necessary preparations to join the FedNow Service, said Ken Montgomery, the program executive and first vice president at the Boston Fed. Unlike the current system, FedNow will grant participants 24/7 access throughout the week.

FedNow is expected to disburse money to people more efficiently than traditional methods, especially during crises such as the early days of the Covid pandemic, when government payments took days to reach most people. Advocates of the program believe that it may even eliminate the need for a central bank digital currency.

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