The company's application, which is expected to be announced as early as Thursday, comes after the online lender SoFi applied in June for an industrial loan charter. The bank is expected to be led by a former Green Dot executive.
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.