Alert September 17, 2013

FRB Reserve Banks Issue Consultation Paper Seeking Public Comments on Ways to Improve Payment System

The FRB’s Financial Services Policy Committee, a committee of the conference of presidents of the FRB’s Reserve Banks, announced that the Federal Reserve Banks  (the “Reserve Banks”) had published a public consultation paper (the “Paper”) in which the Reserve Banks solicited written comments from payment systems providers and end users as well as other members of the public on how to improve the U.S. payment system while maintaining its safety and soundness.  The Reserve Banks also invited interested parties to express their views at various FRB and industry forums to be held over the next few months.  The Reserve Banks said that their study of the payment environment found that improvements to the payment system will need to be made to address, among other things, demographic changes, “faster payments, closed payment communities, obstacles in international payments, the mobile technology revolution and lack of contemporary features in traditional payment channels.”

Written comments on the issues raised in the Paper are due by December 13, 2013.  The Reserve Banks said that after considering public comments, they will issue a white paper to describe the proposed improvement initiatives for the payment system.  The Reserve Banks expect that the white paper will be issued during the second half of 2014.