Top questions about the FedNowSM Service
Top questions about the FedNowSM Service
When the FedNow Service launches in 2023, it will provide opportunities for U.S. financial institutions of all sizes to build and deliver new instant payment services that can improve customer experience, loyalty and satisfaction.
If your financial institution is interested in the FedNow Service, but has questions, check out the following answers to commonly asked questions about the service.
- What is the FedNow Service and when will it launch?
The FedNow Service is an instant payment infrastructure the Federal Reserve Banks are developing. The service will launch in 2023 and provide a platform for financial institutions and other organizations to build innovative payment products that enable individuals and businesses to instantly send and receive money any time of day, any day of the year. Instant payments made over the FedNow Service will settle between financial institutions in real time and end users will have access to funds immediately. Download the FedNow product sheet for details about the service and the benefits of instant payments.
- What use cases will be supported by the FedNow Service?
Financial institutions will be able to use the FedNow Service to develop and deliver account-to-account and bill pay offerings that enable their customers to instantly:
- Reimburse employee expenses
- Provide payroll or incentive pay
- Transfer funds between accounts at separate financial institutions (me-to-me transfers)
- Pay bills either as a one-time or recurring payments
- Reload prepaid cards
- Pay suppliers for inventory, services and rent
- And much more
- How will the FedNow payment process work?
With the FedNow Service, a customer payment will clear and settle instantly, but there are several steps that that will take place between the sending and receiving financial institutions, their service providers, the FedNow Service, and the end users. Get a step-by-step view of this process in this short video and download the customer payment flow resource for more details.
- What are the options for participating in the service?
The FedNow Service will be flexible, offering financial institutions options in how they participate. As an example, based on your organization’s business objectives, your financial institution may choose to send and receive, or you may decide to only receive FedNow payments at launch. Financial institutions also have choices in enabling liquidity management transfers for their own account, settlement only options and more. With the FedNow Service, you will be able to select among many combinations of participation options and can adjust these elections as your business needs evolve. Learn more about participation types.
- What fraud capabilities will be available at launch?
As with any type of payment, the potential for fraud exists with instant payments. Financial institutions are the first line of defense against instant payments-related fraud. As your financial institution prepares for the FedNow Service, you’ll want to evaluate your own fraud management approach and consider taking steps to help protect yourself and your customers.
To support and complement your financial institution’s own fraud mitigation efforts, the FedNow Service will offer fraud management capabilities and enable security features to help protect against threats. Read more about FedNow fraud controls and steps your financial institution can take to strengthen your defenses.
- How will financial institutions connect to the FedNow Service?
To simplify the adoption process and make the FedNow Service as accessible as possible, financial institutions will be able to use the FedLine Advantage®, FedLine Command® and FedLine Direct® Solutions to connect to the FedNow Service, similar to the way they connect today to other Federal Reserve Financial Services. Fees associated with these FedLine Solutions will follow the published fee schedule, including fees related to adding discretionary FedLine VPN or WAN routers as needed to meet individual institution needs. Financial institutions can connect directly or they may choose to connect through a service provider.
- How will settlement occur?
FedNow payments will settle in the participant’s Federal Reserve Bank master account or that of their designated correspondent. Consistent with the account structures for other Federal Reserve Financial Services, participating institutions will be able to use primary and secondary routing transit numbers (RTNs) within messages to segregate payment activity for reporting purposes, although settlement will occur at the master account level. Learn more.
- What is ISO® 20022 and what role does it play in the FedNow Service?
ISO 20022 is a financial industry messaging standard, which provides a universal language for global systems and networks to communicate with each other. The format enables rich data exchanges, efficient end-to-end straight-through payments processing and interoperability with other payment systems, and is a logical choice for the FedNow Service.
Whether you’re responsible for your organization’s FedNow Service integration, preparing to build instant payment products leveraging the FedNow Service, or are a payments processor that will help your clients connect to the FedNow platform, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the FedNow ISO 20022 message specifications. Read the What is ISO 20022 and why does it matter? post for an overview of ISO 20022 messages and how to access the FedNow ISO 20022 messages specifications.
- Which providers will support the FedNow Service?
Your financial institution may be considering whether to work with service providers to implement the FedNow Service. The FedNow Service Provider Showcase is a one-stop resource you can use to browse and find providers that might be right for you. Visit the showcase to view provider profiles and connect with them.
- How can financial institutions get ready for the FedNow Service?
The time to start preparing for the FedNow Service is now and there are resources to help, including:
- FedNow Service Readiness Guide
- FedNow Service preplanning roadmap
- Getting ready for the FedNow Service video
- Readiness roadmap: For Readiness financial institutions working with service providers
- FedNow Service Provider Showcase
To find these resources and many others to help you learn about instant payments and get ready for the FedNow Service, visit FedNowExplorer.org.
Have more questions? Reach out to a Federal Reserve Bank account executive.