On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced the launch of its FedNow Service to “offer a modern instant payment solution.”
Financial institutions will begin using the service in July.
CBDCs won’t be too far behind.
“With the launch drawing near, we urge financial institutions and their industry partners to move full steam ahead with preparations to join the FedNow Service,” said Ken Montgomery, first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and FedNow program executive.
— Federal Reserve (@federalreserve) March 15, 2023
The FedNow Service provides a significant step towards the full-fledged implementation of a centralized bank digital currency (CBDC).
*FEDNOW PAYMENT SERVICE WILL LAUNCH IN JULY, CENTRAL BANK SAYS
Is this CBDC
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 15, 2023
Jerome Powell and the Fed just announced that the FedNow Service will start operating in July pic.twitter.com/xKf4coZKE5
— Evan (@StockMKTNewz) March 15, 2023
Read the full Federal Reserve press release:
CHICAGO – The Federal Reserve announced that the FedNow Service will start operating in July and provided details on preparations for launch.
The first week of April, the Federal Reserve will begin the formal certification of participants for launch of the service. Early adopters will complete a customer testing and certification program, informed by feedback from the FedNow Pilot Program, to prepare for sending live transactions through the system.
Certification encompasses a comprehensive testing curriculum with defined expectations for operational readiness and network experience. In June, the Federal Reserve and certified participants will conduct production validation activities to confirm readiness for the July launch.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming FedNow launch, which will enable every participating financial institution, the smallest to the largest and from all corners of the country, to offer a modern instant payment solution,” said Ken Montgomery, first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and FedNow program executive. “With the launch drawing near, we urge financial institutions and their industry partners to move full steam ahead with preparations to join the FedNow Service.”
Many early adopters have declared their intent to begin using the service in July, including a diverse mix of financial institutions of all sizes, the largest processors, and the U.S. Treasury.
In addition to preparing early adopters for the July launch, the Federal Reserve continues to engage a range of financial institutions and service providers to complete the testing and certification program and implement the service throughout 2023 and beyond. Montgomery noted that availability of the service is just the beginning, and growing the network of participating financial institutions will be key to increasing the availability of instant payments for consumers and businesses across the country.
The FedNow Service will launch with a robust set of core clearing and settlement functionality and value-added features. More features and enhancements will be added in future releases to continue supporting safety, resiliency and innovation in the industry as the FedNow network expands in the coming years.
“With the FedNow Service, the Federal Reserve is creating a leading-edge payments system that is resilient, adaptive, and accessible,” said Tom Barkin, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and FedNow Program executive sponsor. “The launch reflects an important milestone in the journey to help financial institutions serve customer needs for instant payments to better support nearly every aspect of our economy.”
About the FedNow Service
The Federal Reserve Banks are developing the FedNow Service to facilitate nationwide reach of instant payment services by financial institutions — regardless of size or geographic location — around the clock, every day of the year. Through financial institutions participating in the FedNow Service, businesses and individuals will be able to send and receive instant payments at any time of day, and recipients will have full access to funds immediately, giving them greater flexibility to manage their money and make time-sensitive payments. Access will be provided through the Federal Reserve’s FedLine® network, which serves more than 10,000 financial institutions directly or through their agents.
We knew the FedNow Service was on the horizon.
It appears the Federal Reserve needed the recent banking collapses and financial calamity to debut the instant payment service.
Create the crisis to provide the pre-determined solution, right?
Reports last summer said the program would debut sometime in mid-2023.
According to a press release, FedNow will be open to financial institutions of any size, allowing them to facilitate instant payments for consumers and businesses, giving customers immediate full access to funds. The platform is currently in pilot phase with more than 120 organizations participating, including lender U.S. Bank and payment processor Alacriti Payments among them.
Initially announced in August 2020 by then-Fed Governor (now Vice Chair) Lael Brainard, the FedNow platform is seen as a stepping stone to an eventual central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“The benefits of instant payments are increasingly important to consumers and businesses, and the ability to provide this service will be critical for financial institutions to remain competitive,” Ken Montgomery, FedNow Service program executive, said in the central bank’s press release.
If it wasn't clearer that the FedNow Service moves us directly to CBDCs, check out this Yahoo Finance report:
Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said last year that FedNow, which will enable consumers and businesses to send payments instantly, could offer some of the same benefits as a central bank digital currency.