TCH Statement on the Federal Reserve’s August 6 Announcement
The RTP® network is available today, currently reaches 54% of demand deposit accounts (DDAs), and access will soon be available to more than 70% of DDAs in the United States. New banks and credit unions are joining every week and the RTP network has over 100 depository institutions in the process of onboarding. Importantly, the RTP network is proving to be a platform for innovation with compelling new use cases emerging regularly, including:
- Economic Relief/Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) payments
- Real-Time Payroll (Paychex)
- Accelerating card settlement to small & medium-sized businesses (various merchant acquirers)
- Gig economy payments (GrubHub)
- And many more
The value of the RTP network was further enhanced when the Federal Reserve announced that it will provide interest on the account used to hold RTP funding and provide a liquidity management tool when it rolls out FedNow in 2023-2024. TCH applauds these decisions and encourages the Federal Reserve to also continue to explore the use of the Fedwire Funds Service to help banks manage liquidity given the investment that banks and private sector systems have already made in the use of and connectivity to that service. Utilizing the Fedwire Funds Service as the basis for a liquidity management tool was strongly supported in comment letters submitted by industry participants on the initial FedNow proposal.
TCH is also pleased to see that the Federal Reserve seeks to achieve compatibility with RTP messages to enable banks to route real-time payments across either system. Its commitment to the ISO 20022 standard, the messaging standard used today in the RTP network, is an important first step. We encourage the Federal Reserve to leverage RTP specifications and operating rules, both of which have been publicly available since the launch of the RTP service in 2017. TCH has offered to review the FedNow message specifications to help avoid unintended obstacles to routing interoperability. As for “interservice message exchange,” as stated in our comment letter, TCH believes it would be very difficult if not impossible. Of course, if the Federal Reserve identifies potential ways that the government service may be made interoperable with the private sector service, TCH would welcome the exploration of such ideas.
Especially during difficult economic times the ability to immediately receive and manage payments is critical to consumers and businesses. Existing real-time payments use cases that are being deployed today are core to a financial institution’s customer relationship and we encourage all depository institutions to avail themselves of these capabilities and join the RTP network.