Fedwire® Services Business Continuity Guide

Complete the 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.

In the event of a service disruption, refer to Service Status to obtain the current operational status, instructions on what you can do and contact information for further questions.

The Fedwire® Funds and Fedwire Securities “offline” service may be used to process a limited number of critical transactions during a service disruption.

Maintain a current Fedwire® Funds (PDF) and/or Fedwire Securities Service (PDF) authorization form on file with your Wholesale Operations Site (WOS), designating individuals authorized to conduct Fedwire offline transactions and those WOS may call to verify your offline transactions.

Before contacting our Wholesale Operations Site (WOS) in a contingency situation, have all necessary transaction information on hand to originate an offline transaction and at least two authorized individuals available to originate and verify your transactions.

 

Disruption to Fedwire Funds Service

Overview

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.

How You Should Prepare

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)

What You Can Expect

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:

  • Endpoint Grand Totals. This report gives a current summary of your activity for the day. If you process traffic from multiple endpoints, you will receive one report for each endpoint. This report lists the debits, credits, and the associated message counts of incoming and outgoing transfer messages. In addition, the total number of service, rejected, or skipped and/or not received messages, as well as the next expected incoming and outgoing sequence numbers, are indicated.
  • DI Reconciliation (Gaps) Report. This report contains a list of interspersed unprocessed incoming and outgoing sequence numbers (i.e. gaps) for each endpoint. This report is only produced for DIs that show gaps in their sent or received sequence numbers.

What You Should Do

Communication

  • Notify all pertinent personnel at your institution of the service disruption, according to your institution's specific crisis communication escalation procedures.
  • Refer to Service Status to obtain the current operational status and other instructions.

Reconciliation

  • Gather internal documentation to aid in determining if all transactions sent and received before the service disruption were processed by Fedwire. Reconcile internal documentation with the Endpoint Grand Totals report to determine which transactions sent and received have been processed.
  • “Lost or unprocessed” messages will most likely be the last messages sent or received before the disruption. However, unprocessed messages may also be interspersed among the messages sent or received.
  • The transactions that were not processed by Fedwire must be re-sent with a Possible Duplicate Message (PDM) indicator. PDM transactions use the same endpoint and input sequence number (IMAD) as the original transaction.
  • The originator must re-send messages not recovered, regardless of whether they were acknowledged prior to the contingency situation.
  • It is critical that you reconcile to the point of failure before additional messages are entered into the system.

For a copy of step-by-step reconcilement procedures contact your Wholesale Operations Site.

Recovery Timeframe for Fedwire Funds Service

Fedwire Resilience

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).

Fedwire Status

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.

Disruption to Fedwire Securities Service

Overview

The Fedwire Securities 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. Payments processed over Fedwire are final and irrevocable. All securities are held and transferred in book-entry form. Securities transfers may occur with or without the simultaneous debiting and crediting of funds. Security transfers with a payment are referred to as delivery-versus-payment (DVP). Each DVP transfer message results in a securities debit to the sender and a securities credit to the receiver; simultaneously, funds are credited to the sender and debited from the receiver.

The Reserve Banks have a number of procedures in place to ensure the resilience of the Fedwire services, including out-of-region back up facilities for the Fedwire applications and all integral support and related functions. The Reserve Banks routinely test Fedwire business continuity procedures across a variety of contingency situations 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.

How You Should Prepare

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.

What You Can Expect

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:

  • Endpoint Grand Totals. This report gives a current summary of your activity for the day. If you process traffic from multiple endpoints, you will receive one report for each endpoint. This report lists the debits, credits, and the associated message counts of incoming and outgoing transfer messages. In addition, the total number of service, rejected, or skipped and/or not received messages, as well as the next expected incoming and outgoing sequence numbers, are indicated.
  • Terminal Totals. This report is generated by your vendor software. It should show the same information as the Endpoint Grand Totals; however, the count for messages sent may be higher if some transactions were not processed and recovered by Fedwire after the service disruption.
  • DI Reconciliation (Gaps) Report. This report contains a list of interspersed unprocessed incoming and outgoing sequence numbers (i.e. gaps) for each endpoint. This report is only produced for DIs that show gaps in their sent or received sequence numbers.

What You Should Do

Communication

  • Notify all pertinent personnel at your institution of the service disruption, according to your institution's specific crisis communication escalation procedures.
  • Refer to Service Status to obtain the current operational status and other instructions.

Reconciliation

  • Gather internal documentation to aid in determining if all transactions sent and received before the service disruption were processed by Fedwire. Reconcile internal documentation with the Endpoint Grand Totals report to determine which transactions sent and received have been processed.
  • “Lost or unprocessed” messages will most likely be the last messages sent or received before the disruption. However, unprocessed messages may also be interspersed among the messages sent or received.
  • The transactions that were not processed by Fedwire must be re-sent with a Possible Duplicate Messages (PDM) indicator. PDM transactions use the same endpoint and input sequence number (IMAD) as the original transaction.
  • The originator must re-send messages not recovered, regardless of whether they were acknowledged prior to the contingency situation.
  • It is critical that you reconcile to the point of failure before additional messages are entered into the system.

For a copy of step-by-step reconcilement procedures contact your Wholesale Operations Site.

Recovery Timeframe for Fedwire Securities Service

Fedwire Resilience

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).

Fedwire Status

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.

For more information, contact your Wholesale Operations Site.

Regional/Local Disruption Impacting Your Operations

Overview

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.

How You Should Prepare

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.

What You Should Do During a Disruption

  • Take Your Evacuation Package: If relocation is necessary, this packet should contain valuable materials to help you quickly re-establish Fedwire operations from an alternate site.
  • Implement Your Contingency Procedures: Determine which contingency arrangement applies to the specific event and implement it. For example:
    • Transition to your out-of-region data center and/or FedLine Advantage access solution contingency connection.
    • Activate your pre-established “buddy bank” arrangements.
    • Identify critical transactions; authorized individuals can use the Fedwire offline service to manually process a small number of critical transactions in the event that alternate access channels fail.

  • Contact Your Wholesale Operations Site: Alert the Wholesale Operations Site that you are in a contingency situation. The Wholesale Operations Site can help you work through your Fedwire processing options.
  • Review Fedwire Extension Guidelines: Ensure authorized individuals are aware of the Fedwire operating hours and extension guidelines.

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