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ICBA to Fed: Move Quickly on Real-Time Payments System

Nov 12, 2019
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Launching FedNow Expeditiously Will Encourage Adoption

Washington, D.C (Nov. 12, 2019)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) called on the Federal Reserve to introduce its real-time payments service as quickly as possible to maximize adoption among community banks. In a comment letter, ICBA applauded the Fed for deciding to develop the FedNow real-time gross settlement system and advocated expeditiously launching a minimally viable service, rather than waiting up to 10 years to introduce an optimal version.

"ICBA strongly applauds the Federal Reserve Board for deciding to develop FedNow to ensure universal access to real-time payments, avoid a monopoly in the hands of the largest and riskiest financial firms, and encourage further payments innovation," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. "ICBA and community banks have long supported the Fed's role in real-time payments, and we call on the Fed to expeditiously introduce FedNow to ensure the customers and communities we serve benefit from real-time payments as quickly as possible."

In its comment letter, ICBA said proceeding to market expeditiously with a minimally viable real-time service would allow community banks to choose to use FedNow, The Clearing House's RTP network, or both real-time services—facilitating nationwide adoption of faster payments. A more linear approach would take up to a decade to develop an optimal service and achieve ubiquitous adoption. Among its additional comments, ICBA also called on the Fed to continue to limit FedNow access to banks eligible to hold Reserve Bank accounts, ensure reasonable pricing, and work with The Clearing House toward interoperability between FedNow and RTP.

The Fed's decision to operate a real-time settlement system will ensure industry-wide access and is consistent with the roles the agency already serves in providing payments services to nearly 11,000 financial institutions of different sizes and charter types. ICBA and the nation's community banks have long supported the Fed’s role in real-time payments, as illustrated by ICBA's years-long campaign and in hundreds of community banker comment letters to the Fed.

ICBA looks forward to continuing to work with the Fed as it develops and implements FedNow to maximize access for community banks and the local customers and communities they serve.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.

 

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