At the end of this month, Senior Account Executive Steve Peterson will celebrate a staggering 31 years at the Federal Reserve.
After receiving a recommendation from a friend, Steve joined the Fed working in Treasury Services where he traveled on the road, giving seminars and trainings at financial institutions. His experience there opened an opportunity to join the sales team. “Originally, I didn’t like the idea of ‘sales.’ But, once I learned it was more a consultative role to help institutions, I took a leap of faith, and so did the Fed. I’ve been here ever since and enjoying every minute,” he shared.
Steve has worked with many financial institutions since starting as an account executive. Each institution is unique; some institutions may have a dedicated person for each payment service and in others there might be two to three people total.
We sat down with Steve to discuss his time at the Fed and advice for his customers.
Q: What is your proudest moment at the Fed?
A: In my early days as an account executive, we were ushering in the ‘brand-new thing, Check 21.’ I had a lot to learn as a new account executive. But, with Check 21, I started at the same level as everyone else on the team and it was exciting to be supporting the newest offering at the time from the Fed.
Q: What are one or two of your favorite new initiatives at the Fed?
A: The FedNowSM Service and faster payments are obvious. But I find the FedACH® Exception Resolution Service fascinating and hope it takes off! The service is a huge timesaver for institutions to deal with the odd exceptions in ACH, such as getting Originator Contact information, Converted Check copies, etc. But the concept of using FedLine® Solutions as a secure messaging system between financial institutions, versus the labor intensive and old forms of communication, like fax or calling “general numbers”, trying to reach the proper person at another in institution, really intrigues me.
Q: The FedNow Service is a major milestone for the Fed. What do you share with customers regarding this new service?
A: The FedNow Service is very top of mind for me and my colleagues. With customers, I like to cover the Fed’s journey around offering instant payments, discuss why it is different — specifically the settlement area — and provide steps that institutions can consider in the next year to prepare themselves and their customers. I also reference and share key resources available on the FedNow Explorer (Off-site) website that can help a variety of organizations and institutions in their paths to instant payments adoption.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have for your customers?
A: For my customers, and really all Fed customers, my biggest piece of advice is to schedule time with your account executive! If you haven’t sat down with your account executive in the past year, visit the Contact page on FRBservices.org® and get a hold of them. As things change at your institution, the existing services you have may no longer be the best option. We want to learn about your institution’s needs and find ways the Fed can possibly lower your fees and increase your efficiencies. We’re here to find the best options for your institution, to ultimately help you make the best decisions for you.
Let’s get a little more personal
Q: Do you prefer an email, phone call or video call?
A: Probably phone call for the consultative, longer conversations I’m able to have with customers. I’m still getting used to video. Obviously, email is great for quick questions and responses.
Q: What is your favorite city or a city that changed your life?
A: After living in Minneapolis my entire life, I’d be very happy if I never see another flake of snow. So, where I live now, The Villages in Florida, is probably my favorite. The sheer number of activities here are great.
Q: What is your favorite after work activity?
A: I have to say pickleball – it’s an addicting game and I love it!
As Steve mentions, reach out to your account executive! They’re always ready and willing to speak with you about services mentioned here. Contact them with any questions you have.