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Fedwire® Offline Services as a Limited Contingency Tool

Primary Use

The Fedwire® Funds and Fedwire Securities offline service (Fedwire offline service) provides an important, limited alternative to electronic access for customers that have an infrequent need to use the Fedwire Funds Service and/or Fedwire Securities Service (Fedwire Services). These offline customers are typically lower-volume funds transfer customers or customers that have securities holdings requiring relatively few transactions. In total, approximately 500 offline transactions are processed daily via telephone by staff at the Wholesale Operations Sites (WOS). These transactions are processed after completion of a multi-step, manual and highly secure verification procedure. The Federal Reserve Banks typically limit customers to the origination of three offline transactions per telephone call; the Federal Reserve Banks may further limit the number of offline transactions per call in the event of a service disruption.

Use as a Contingency Tool1

Fedwire Services customers that use the FedLine Advantage® or FedLine Direct® Solution as their primary method to access the Fedwire Services should not rely on the Fedwire offline service as a contingency alternative for processing their transactions. While the Fedwire offline service has proven to be an effective tool to support the origination of the most critical transactions for a limited number of customers using the FedLine Advantage Solution when they experience a service disruption, it is not designed or intended to support a broad-based FedLine Advantage Solution service disruption and is not a viable contingency alternative for customers that use the FedLine Direct Solution. The Fedwire offline service is also not a viable contingency alternative to receive messages (including advices of credit) that Fedwire Services customers would normally receive using their primary FedLine Solution. Therefore, Fedwire Services customers are encouraged to consider other alternatives for sending and receiving critical transactions if they cannot access the Fedwire Services via their primary FedLine Solution.

Keep Information Current

  • Ensure that your institution maintains a current Fedwire Funds Service and/or Fedwire Securities Service authorization form on file with your Wholesale Operations Site. These forms designate individuals who are authorized to conduct Fedwire Services offline transactions on behalf of your institution. For each contact listed on the authorization form, please provide both a primary and contingency telephone number and e-mail address. The Fedwire Services authorization forms can be found by clicking on Forms in the top navigation and then selecting Wires or Securities.
  • If your institution is a Fedwire Funds Service customer, make sure your offline code word list has been acknowledged with your Wholesale Operations Site and is readily available to authorized individuals.
  • Periodically review your institution’s internal procedures for originating and verifying Fedwire transactions.

Know Procedures

  • Know the telephone number for your Wholesale Operations Site.
  • If your institution is a Fedwire Funds Service customer, familiarize your staff with procedures for accessing your institution’s offline code word list.
  • Ensure authorized individuals understand the Federal Reserve Banks’ procedures for using the Fedwire offline service. Contact your Wholesale Operations Site if you have any questions regarding the Federal Reserve Banks’ procedures.
  • Ensure authorized individuals are well-trained on your institution’s internal procedures for origination and verification.
  • Consider originating periodic transactions via the Fedwire offline service to exercise your internal procedures. Note: This is a best practice for many online customers. Current offline surcharges apply to these transactions; please visit the Service Fees page for more information on Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire Securities Service fees.

Be Prepared

  • Have all necessary transaction information available prior to contacting your Wholesale Operations Site to originate an offline transaction.
  • Ensure that at least two authorized individuals are available at either the primary or contingency telephone number listed for them on your institution’s Fedwire Funds Service authorization form (if your institution needs to originate an offline funds transfer) or Fedwire Securities Service authorization form (if your institution needs to originate an offline securities transfer). Make sure that these individuals are prepared to complete the origination and verification procedures required for each offline transaction. Please note that the same authorized individual may not both originate and verify an offline transaction.

General Suggestions for Institutions in a Contingency Situation

  • Alert your designated Wholesale Operations Site when a contingency situation arises. To the extent possible, it is helpful if information regarding the nature and severity of the contingency is provided.
  • If a problem is likely to result in an extension request, inform the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at (866) 895-5985, as soon as possible, to explain the problem in detail, the expected time needed to resolve it, and the dollar amount and number of transactions that need to be sent. In addition, ensure that authorized individuals are aware of the guidelines that need to be followed when requesting an extension to any of the published Fedwire operating hours:
  • Be prepared to prioritize your offline transactions to those that your institution has identified as the most critical transactions, particularly later in the business day. It is also important to note that while your institution is typically limited to the origination of three offline transactions per phone call, your institution may be limited to fewer offline transactions per call during a service disruption depending on the extent and severity of the particular disruption.
  • During a service disruption, the Fedwire offline service may be limited to processing only value messages. Please be prepared to use alternative (i.e., non-Federal Reserve Bank) communication vehicles for information (non-value) messages such as drawdown requests or service messages.
  • Remember that transactions processed via the Fedwire offline service take longer to originate and verify due to the manual authentication and verification procedures required to complete the transaction.

Footnotes

1 As outlined in the Federal Reserve Banks’ Operating Circulars 6 and 7, Fedwire Services participants are responsible for developing their own contingency and recovery plans to ensure the resilience of their Fedwire Services operations. All Fedwire Services participants conducting critical payment transactions should have contingency plans in place and test them regularly to validate their effectiveness in the event of a service disruption.

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