FedNow? More like FedLate
By Karen Petrou
The Federal Reserve is four-square for its own instant-payments system, dubbed FedNow, even though the final implementation schedule suggests it might better be called FedLate. The Fed added stimulus-payment snafus to the updated public-good rationale for a its faster-payments system, in a report released Thursday. But details of both its rollout and all the critical, unfinished pieces suggest that the 2023 or 2024 target launch date by could slip into the more-distant future, leaving many folks still looking for their unemployment insurance. Even so, the new Fed policy continues to brush aside concerns that its heavy footprint slows payments-system innovation, asserting that it doesn’t compete with any undue advantage against the private sector. It may well be that a Fed payments system preserves and protects the public good, and that it’s better late than never. However, a read of the Fed’s notice leaves one thoroughly unconvinced.