Leveraging Past and Present to Guide the Future

Reed Luhtanen, Executive Director, FPC

Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” As the new year begins to take shape, this idea continues to resonate as a strong guiding principle for the work of the FPC.

For our work, evaluating where we’ve been has led us on a firm path forward. Past ideas, information, and actions shape our current conditions, which ultimately inform future states. It’s this idea that motivates our continued work on the Faster Payments Barometer, an annual outlook on faster payments views and trends that we’ve used to help us shape work efforts that advance faster payments. It’s also why we maintain our Faster Payments Knowledge Center, full of historical and current resources and tools to support ongoing faster payments understanding. And this month, it’s also one of the reasons we are excited to announce the release of the FPC’s newest industry report, “The State of Play in U.S. Faster Payments.” 

This new resource created by the FPC’s Network Committee provides an in-depth look at a number of faster payments networks in the United States, the infrastructure and platforms on which today’s real-time payments move. In our current environment, we have a multitude of players and each has its own set of characteristics, user experiences, and available services and offerings. Our new resource provides a rarely seen, easy-to understand, side-by-side comparison of many of the available, and forthcoming, faster payments networks and their attributes in one comprehensive offering. 

Given the current faster payments environment, with 77% of organizations using or enabling faster payments, having an accurate and comprehensive picture of the landscape is critically important1. A precise picture can support organizational implementation plans; it can bolster confidence in faster payments solutions as a viable payments solution; and it can further adoption and use – all goals the FPC seeks to achieve.

Through its thoughtful examination of the faster payments landscape, "The State of Play” serves as a most thorough resource to characterize the lay of the land. It provides an overview of how we are using faster payments, and how these applications have addressed the challenges of COVID-19. The resource also breaks down features of the networks, from types of transactions processed (credits vs. debits) to the fraud and risk control measures in place for each. In addition, it provides a true illustration and understanding of how funds move on the networks, delivering a clear picture of the real-time transactional process. 

This thorough analysis of the state of faster payments is foundational to increasing knowledge and understanding of faster payments. With the knowledge and understanding of where things stand today, we can continue to shape and achieve the goals and ideals for the future.

Projects like the Faster Payments Barometer, Faster Payments Knowledge Center, and now “The State of Play in U.S. Faster Payments” help establish the foundations on which we can continue to build. And it is on these building blocks, shaped by the past and present, that we can set the course for where we are going. 

If you’re interested in helping the FPC chart the course for the faster payments ecosystem of tomorrow, consider becoming an FPC Member. You can participate in the idea generation and development of projects like “The State of Play in U.S. Faster Payments,” that will ground us in understanding to inspire the actions to move us forward. To join, visit fasterpaymentscouncil.org/members

12020 Faster Payments Barometer: Assessing Faster Payments in the U.S.
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