On September 10, 2013, the Federal Reserve Banks published a public consultation paper designed to start a conversation and ultimately aimed at improving the US payment system.  In the face of rapidly evolving technology, the Federal Reserve Banks are hoping to centrally coordinate the development of “ubiquitous, open payment networks and/or broadly interoperable networks” by bringing together the payments industry and fostering development to promote improvement of US payment system.

The purpose of the public consultation paper is to communicate the perspective of the Federal Reserve Banks’ and to solicit input from industry stakeholders.  The Federal Reserve Banks list the following five items as desired outcomes for the payments industry over the next decade:

  • Future improvements have been defined and embraced collectively by the payments industry
  • Ubiquitous electronic payment solutions have been developed allowing near real time payments
  • A decrease in the overall cost of payments transactions based on “electronification” and process improvements
  • Increased consumer options for convenient, cost-effective cross-border payments to and from the US
  • The Federal Reserve Banks continue to work with the payments industry to ensure the security of the payment system

In an effort to engage the US payments industry, the Federal Reserve Banks posed a series of questions designed to begin a dialogue between regulators and industry stakeholders.  Responses may  be submitted at http://www.fedpaymentsimprovement.org/ until December 13, 2013.

The Federal Reserve Banks’ Payment System Improvement – Public Consultation Paper can be viewed here.