The Fedwire Funds Service, owned and operated by the Federal Reserve Banks, provides a centralized, electronic, real-time, gross settlement system (RTGS). RTGS means that the Fedwire application processes and settles transactions individually as they occur. Participants use Fedwire to send payments to other Fedwire participants. During a typical transaction the sending participant initiates the funds transfer message. The Fedwire application: (1) authenticates the sender, (2) edits the message for proper syntax, (3) debits the payment amount from the sender's reserve account and credits the same amount to the receiver's reserve account, (4) sends an acknowledgement to the sender to confirm the outgoing payment, and (5) sends an advice to the receiver for notification of the incoming payment. Payments processed over Fedwire are final and irrevocable.
The Federal Reserve Banks have a number of procedures in place to ensure the resilience of the Fedwire services, including out-of-region backup facilities for the Fedwire applications and all integral support and related functions. The Federal Reserve Banks routinely test Fedwire business continuity procedures across a variety of contingency situations, including unavailability of facilities, hardware, network, or staff, to ensure timely resumption of Fedwire operations in the event of a local, regional, or widespread disruption. The Fedwire applications and associated recovery procedures are regularly enhanced and tested to address various emerging risk scenarios, such as those that might occur during a pandemic.
More detailed contingency planning information for the Fedwire Services is available in the EUAC Center. Please coordinate with an EUAC from your institution to access the FedLine Advantage Contingency Guide for Fedwire Services.
Additional information about contingency planning is also available on this website. Please review the Fedwire Offline Services as a Contingency Alternative Quick Reference Guide.
For more contingency planning information related to access channels that support the Fedwire Services, please review the FedMail Contingency Guide for Fedwire Services (PDF).
Procedures are in place to ensure the resilience of the Fedwire applications, which includes recovery to the point of failure. To aid depository institutions (DIs) in the reconciliation process, the following reports should be used:
If you need assistance with reconciliation, contact your Wholesale Operations Site. To assist in the reconciliation process, please gather internal documentation that will aid in determining if all transactions sent and received before the service disruption were processed by Fedwire.
For detailed information regarding the resilience of Fedwire, including information on Fedwire Data Centers, Fedwire Technical Support Personnel, Fedwire Contingency Testing, and Customer Responsibilities, please review the Fedwire Resilience Statement (PDF).
Throughout the business day, you can view operational information and updates through Service Status. This information includes opening time, operational status, information regarding extensions, and closing time. You should become familiar with this status page and refer to it on a regular basis, as this is the location where important information regarding the Fedwire service will be posted following a disruption.
Many financial institutions survived recent severe regional weather events with minimal to no impact on their day-to-day operations thanks to some careful business continuity planning. As stated in Federal Reserve Bank operating circulars, financial institutions and their service providers are responsible for developing, testing and executing their own contingency and recovery plans to ensure the resilience of their operations in a crisis situation. Whether your plan is as technically complex as establishing a geographically diverse data center, or as simple as having an evacuation packet with essential items that your staff may need to reconstitute operations at an alternate site, planning and preparedness are key according to those who have emerged from a severe weather event relatively unscathed from an operational perspective.
Detailed information about business continuity planning is available on this page. Additionally, and for your convenience, we’ve created a Storm-Preparedness Checklist (PDF), which is intended to be a tool for your financial institution to use as you prepare your business continuity plans to help mitigate the potential impact of a forecasted weather event or other local disruption to your Fedwire transaction-processing capabilities.