U.S. Faster Payments Council Releases First Operational Considerations for Instant Payments Guideline

For Immediate Release

Oct. 11, 2023 – The U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), a membership organization devoted to advancing safe, easy-to-use faster payments in the United States, today published Guideline.01: Operational Considerations for Instant Payments Receive-Side Primer in its Faster Payments Knowledge Center. The FPC Operational Considerations for Instant & Immediate Payments Work Group (OCWG), sponsored by Form3, the cloud-native account-to-account platform, developed this first guideline as a resource for financial institutions supporting instant payment rails.

The FPC Operational Considerations for Instant Payments Guideline.01 serves as a primer on operational considerations for receiving instant payments, offering high-level insights on priorities to consider when adopting this new method of receipt. The primer is meant to provide a springboard for financial institutions to plan the journey to faster payments adoption by providing high-level insights of the various areas for consideration.

“While the conversations around faster payments have been going on for a while, with the recent launch of the FedNow® Service to complement the TCH RTP® private sector solution – it’s clear that the tactical HOW do we do this, is becoming more and more of the conversation,” said Miriam Sheril, Head of Product – US at Form3 and FPC Operational Considerations Work Group Chair. “That’s why the OCWG was formed – to start pulling together information on how to actually think about operating a faster payment service specifically focused on those two new rails.”

As the first guideline in the series, the primer begins with an introduction to instant payments operations and sets the stage on how instant payments are transforming the U.S. payments ecosystem and challenging long-held payment processing paradigms. Topics covered in the primer include new message flows/processes in relation to existing payment flows, liquidity management, fraud mitigation, exception processing, staffing needs and training requirements, and more.

“With all the excitement around instant payments, the focus of the conversation is usually on topics like ubiquity, interoperability, and use cases, but there’s not as much around how to practically support a 24/7 instant payment rail and what financial institutions need to think about and prepare for from a back office perspective,” said Tony Cook, Executive Vice President – Payment Operations at FirstBank and Operational Considerations Work Group Vice Chair. “This is why our work group came together – to help financial institutions think through these challenges and get more comfortable stepping into instant payments.”

While more detail will be provided in the next guideline of this series around specific solutions and ways to address these areas, no two financial institutions are the same – therefore the problems shared, while universal, may not be solved in the same manner for each institution. Subsequent guideline series will cover the send side of instant payments as well as non-value messages (Request for Information, Request for Payment, Request for Refund).

“Our first guideline on operational considerations for instant payments lays the groundwork for addressing practical challenges in the industry,” said FPC Executive Director Reed Luhtanen. “FPC members are at the forefront of advancing faster payments, and this new guideline underscores our commitment to equipping financial institutions with the knowledge and resources required to embrace the era of instant payments.”

The FPC prioritizes inclusion of diverse perspectives in tackling complex topics such as interoperability, identifying real-world solutions that can ease adoption of faster payments, managing security risks and fraud threats, addressing barriers to financial inclusion and cross-border payments, and more, as the organization paves the way toward a future of faster payments for all.

For more information on the FPC, its current work efforts or to join, visit FasterPaymentsCouncil.org.

Elizabeth Grice 
U.S. Faster Payments Council                             
About the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC)
The FPC is an industry-led membership organization whose vision is a world-class payment system where Americans can safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, at any time and with near-immediate funds availability. By design, the FPC encourages a diverse range of perspectives and is open to all stakeholders in the U.S. payment system. Guided by principles of fairness, inclusiveness, flexibility and transparency, the FPC uses collaborative, problem-solving approaches to resolve the issues that are inhibiting broad faster payments adoption in this country. For more information, please visit FasterPaymentsCouncil.org.

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