FMI Cheers Fed’s Real-Time Payments Plan

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FMI Cheers Fed’s Real-Time Payments Plan

08/06/2019
FMI Cheers Fed’s Real-Time Payments Plan
FMI members are pleased

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has expressed its hearty approval of the Federal Reserve Bank’s plans to roll out a real-time payments system. The FedNow Service, slated to go live by 2023 or 2024, will modernize the payments infrastructure and provide businesses more flexibility in managing money and making time-sensitive payments.

"Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community," noted Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard. "FedNow will permit banks of every size in every community across the country to provide real-time payments to their customers."

Arlington, Va.-based FMI collaborated with the Fed to pinpoint the challenges and opportunities in the U.S. payments ecosystem, including the potential of real-time gross settlements (RTGS).

“We’re extremely pleased with the Fed’s announcement to create a real-time payment system and thank the governors for their support,” said Hannah Walker, FMI’s VP, political affairs. “It is a commonsense solution that will bring U.S. payments into the 21st century, in order to mirror what is happening in the global market.

According to Walker, the new system is good for food retail businesses because it “will spur innovation, create certainty in payments and free up the billions of dollars in capital that’s fettered in transit. RTGS promote real-time transparency into actual credit charges and eliminate the days of ‘pending’ transactions that become added to total card balances.” 

She added: “We participated in the Fed’s New York listening session and co-wrote a joint letter to the Fed governors and lawmakers urging support for real-time payments. In December 2018, FMI enthusiastically submitted comments strongly supporting the Fed’s proposal to move forward with standing up a RTGS system here in the U.S. We sincerely thank the FED for listening to the voices of food retailers on why RTGS is the right step for a more competitive payment ecosystem. As the payment system becomes established, FMI will continue to be engaged moving forward.”

FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies. The organization’s membership encompasses single-owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains, pharmacies, online, and mixed retail stores.