For the last two years, the central bank has allowed the private sector to drive a process aimed at modernizing the nation's payments system. Now the Fed will have to determine what its own role will be.
An influential task force established by the central bank envisions a future in which the U.S. has multiple real-time payment systems, and in a new report it lays out a series of actions that will be necessary to stitch them together.
Lost in the battle between banks and retailers — which is being fought with renewed vigor in the early days of the Trump administration — is any consideration of how caps on interchange fees have affected consumer spending patterns.
Several groups are developing real-time payments systems for the U.S., and most everyone agrees success is inevitable, but how quickly they can make enough progress to satisfy consumers is a point of contention.