U.S. Faster Payments Council Publishes Faster Payments and Financial Inclusion White Paper

For Immediate Release

July 29, 2022 – 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 a new industry resource, Faster Payments and Financial Inclusion white paper. Sponsored by PSCU, the FPC Financial Inclusion Work Group developed the paper which identifies eight areas of pain points, or barriers, to the use of faster payments for families and small businesses who face shortages of time and cash.

The new report offers a blueprint of steps that payments providers, banks, and networks can take to alleviate these pain points to increase financial inclusion in the use of faster payments. Some of the recommended steps include strong, omnichannel customer service, product design that is fully grounded in the financial life of the underserved consumer or small business, and prevention and remedies for fraud and mistake.

“Our work group is pleased to add this new report to the national efforts to achieve expanded financial inclusion,” said Gail Hillebrand of the National Consumers League and FPC Financial Inclusion Work Group Chair. “Millions of families in the United States are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to lose funds to fraud or mistake. Faster payments providers can reach and serve underserved people by designing products and services that work for the realities of their financial lives and protect them from losing their hard-earned money.”

The Faster Payments and Financial Inclusion paper consists of five distinct parts that serve as a guide for stakeholders within the faster payments ecosystem committed to expanding their financial inclusion efforts:
  • Part I describes the underserved as people who are unbanked, people who are living paycheck to paycheck, and small businesses.
  • Part II identifies eight clusters of pain points or barriers for the underserved in using faster payments.
  • Part III describes steps that can be taken by private sector entities throughout the faster payments chain to increase financial inclusion by mitigating the pain points.
  • Part IV describes use cases for the underserved that could provide benefits from faster payments and associated services.
  • Part V identifies issues that would not be fully resolved by the recommendations in the report.
Unlike most of the literature on faster payments, this report takes the view of the underserved consumer," said Adam Rust, Senior Policy Advisor at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Financial Inclusion Work Group Vice Chair. "It explains how slower payments can create challenges for cash-strapped consumers and shows how faster payments could make for a more inclusive banking system. It also issues a clarion call to financial institutions, emphasizing that banks and other payment providers must consider the needs of low-wealth households when they design new services, and making clear that fraud protections are a precondition of reaching widescale adoption."

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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