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Highlights from the year-end FedNowSM Community Town Hall

On December 2, the Federal Reserve hosted a year-end FedNow Community Town Hall, a livestreamed conversation with FedNow leaders. Community members heard about how they can accelerate their journey toward instant payments, including a new opportunity for service providers to gain marketplace exposure for their instant payment solutions. Here are some of the highlights.

Looking back on 2021 and what’s ahead in 2022

We began 2021 with the exciting announcement that we were able to narrow the delivery timeframe for the FedNow Service by a full year — to 2023 — and we continue to make excellent progress. Our efforts this year focused on launching new tools and support to accelerate industry readiness for the FedNow Service while simultaneously moving ahead with our technology build.

“All these efforts are underpinned by our deep collaboration with the industry and with all of you,” said Nick Stanescu, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston senior vice president and FedNow business executive.

That collaboration was integral in meeting our goals for the year, which centered on milestones related to the technical build of the FedNow Service and launching our pilot program, which has allowed us to gather ongoing feedback to help ensure the service meets the needs of industry stakeholders. Additionally, we provided a steady drumbeat of FedNow Community engagement opportunities and advanced our work on ISO® 20022 specifications.

We anticipate that 2022 will be just as productive as 2021. The focus will be on our Release 1 tech build, testing, progressing key use cases and preparing to go live in 2023. As we embark on our instant payments journey, we are also committed to fostering industry readiness with the key initiatives outlined below.

Ecosystem Accelerator Group

The newly launched Ecosystem Accelerator Group (Off-site) is an interest group within the FedNow Community for payment processors, core banking system providers, mobile and online banking platform providers, payment hubs and gateways, bill pay/presentment service providers and others within the FedNow Community.

“In order for us to be successful and develop a robust service, we really need the collaboration and support from across the market and all parts of the value chain. This includes active engagement from both payment service providers and technology providers,” said Allison Baller, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston vice president and head of FedNow Industry Readiness.

Solution developers and providers in the new group will have the opportunity to participate in programs designed for their needs and interests, influence FedNow Service design and release priorities, and more. Whether you are new to the Community or an existing member, all payment service providers will be included automatically and will receive curated information about future opportunities and events.

Service Provider Showcase

Members of the Ecosystem Accelerator Group will also have the unique opportunity to participate in the Service Provider Showcase (Off-site) to highlight their instant payment capabilities for financial institutions and end users looking to adopt the FedNow Service.

“We're envisioning the Service Provider Showcase as an important component — an anchor, if you will — of the broader Ecosystem Accelerator Group programming effort,” said Tim Boike, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago vice president of industry relations and engagement.

The showcase submission period is now open. To participate, first make sure you are part of the FedNow Community. Then review all showcase participation details (Off-site) for step-by-step instructions on how to submit your materials.

FedNow Explorer

As FedNow implementation gains momentum, the FedNow Explorer (Off-site) website is a new interactive tool to help financial institutions, service providers to financial institutions and end user solution providers get ready for the FedNow Service, no matter where they are on their instant payments journey.

“FedNow Explorer was built not just to help people and organizations along the path to instant payments, but to meet people where they are on their journey with relevant and useful information,” said Courtney Finn, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago senior content strategist.

The site provides everything from the basics — such as how “instant” payments are different from “faster” payments — to use case opportunities, FedNow features and functionality and tips on how to prepare for the FedNow Service.

A key feature of the site is that it provides visitors with three different ways to engage with the content, since everyone has unique preferences for how they consume information. The site also makes it easy to share resources with colleagues or people outside your organization.

To view the FedNow Community Town Hall recording and presentation materials, visit FedNow.org.

ACTION ITEM: If you haven’t already done so, join the FedNow Community to participate in the service’s development and receive regular updates.