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Article Archives

FedFocus is your source for the latest Federal Reserve Bank Services news. Each issue keeps you informed about hot topics in the industry, as well as provides insight into the value of Federal Reserve Financial Services.

Account Services: Article Archives

Commercial Bank leverages the ease and automation of the FedTransaction Analyzer tool

March 2015

Commercial Bank has seen tremendous growth since its founding 40 years ago. Today, nearly 200 employees take great pride in supporting their customers. The bank uses a variety of the Fed’s services to help meet its customers’ needs, including the enhanced functionality of the FedTransaction Analyzer® tool. In this article, executive vice president and chief operations officer Michelle Huddleston shares her belief that using automation tools and systems provided by the Fed are proving far easier to manage than what some of the ready-made solutions are providing. Learn how the FedTransaction Analyzer tool can help your organization assess risk and automate manual processes, while seamlessly integrating with other software.
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Central Bank: Article Archives

There are currently no articles in the FedFocus archive for this service type.

 

 

Check/Check 21 Services: Article Archives

There are currently no articles in the FedFocus archive for this service type.

 

 

Customer Support: Article Archives

Sometimes less is more: Your feedback helps simplifly access to customized Fed contact information

September 2014

We all live and work in a world that demands we remember enormous amounts of information. The more information that is available via today’s technological advancements, the more connected we are to what’s happening across the country and around the world. When we think about all the things we rely on to manage our day-to-day lives, it truly highlights that in many instances having to remember less … is really more. In this issue, we share two examples of how your feedback prompted efforts that make it quicker and easier for you to reach our support experts.
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Events and Education: Article Archives

Learn how our services can help improve your business continuity plans

August 2015

With financial institutions seeing threats from all sides, robust business continuity planning is now more important than ever. Financial institutions have access to a suite of information services offered by the Federal Reserve Banks that can help support day-to-day activities and can aid in recovery processes in the event of a business interruption.
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Meet Fed staff at upcoming industry events

July 2015

The Federal Reserve Banks actively seek opportunities to collaborate with our customers, as well as the banking and financial industry as a whole. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is by participating in industry events throughout the year. Read on for a sampling of upcoming events at which Federal Reserve staff will be present.
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Are you taking advantage of our top-notch tools and training?

June 2015

Providing a comprehensive compliance training program for your institution is essential to helping prevent financial losses and reputational harm. Keeping up-to-date with new and increasingly complex risk factors also takes the right tools. We’re here to help with both! Learn about the FedTransaction Analyzer tool and the corresponding 24/7 on-demand webcast.
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An ode to FEDucation

May 2015

Don’t despair if you forgot to take advantage of National Poetry Month in April. We’ve continued the celebration with our poem on the Federal Reserve Banks’ educational opportunities. Not only can you expand your FEDucation, but you can also flex your poetic muscles in the process! Learn how to register for 24/7 complimentary webcasts and more.
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Reading and learning go hand in hand

April 2015

National Library Week, which will be observed April 12-18, is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. Just as reading is one way to learn something new, attending any of the Federal Reserve Bank Events is a great way to gain greater insight, build your skills in using Federal Reserve Financial Services and boost your FEDucation. Check out all of the Fed’s learning opportunities that are available to your institution.
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Find your FEDucation pot o’ gold

March 2015

We offer a wide variety of education materials and online learning opportunities to support your institution in its use of Federal Reserve Financial Services. The Events and Education tab, located on the left hand navigation bar of FRBservices.org, is a virtual pot of gold filled with links to eLearning modules, FRB events and Industry events. Discover all the ways you can strike it rich by expanding your FEDucation today! 
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FEDucation: A LOT to love

February 2015

What’s not to love about the wide variety of educational options provided to you by the Federal Reserve Banks? Discover how you can gain greater insight and build your skills in using Federal Reserve Financial Services by attending any of our new or updated offerings in our Events and Education curriculum. We think you’ll find there's a lot to love!
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The new year brings a new events registration process to help simplify your FEDucation

January 2015

Each new year brings a time of new beginnings and renewed commitments. Again in 2015, the Federal Reserve Banks will continue to deliver on our goal of providing a high-quality FEDucation to you. For this reason, we have revamped our events registration process to make it easier for you to sign up for the valuable educational opportunities we offer. Make note of the new URL to the Federal Reserve Bank Events page and find out just how easy it is to register.  
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What are you waiting for? Take time now to check out our wide array of FEDucation opportunities.

December 2014

This is the time of year when most companies are reviewing goals, finalizing year-end activities, wrapping up projects and beginning preparations for next year. It is also a perfect time to make sure you are up-to-date with your FEDucation. The Federal Reserve Banks provide an abundance of offerings, whether you need to master navigating FedPayments® Manager or just want to learn more about our suite of FedACH® Services. You can navigate to all of our available options from the Events and Education page. Don’t delay … take time to expand your FEDucation today!
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Take time for yourself before the flurry of holiday festivities begins

November 2014

As the holiday season approaches, it may be a challenge to find some time for yourself. If you have only a snippet of time between now and the holidays, consider investing in your FEDucation before the rush begins. We have a wide variety of free, 24/7 webcasts that you can view at your convenience through the end of the year, plus you can share the link with other staff at your institution. Take a look at some of the featured sessions and be sure to contact your account executive to discuss how your organization can benefit from the highlighted service.
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FEDucation opportunities to factor into 4Q 2014

October 2014

Believe it or not, we have entered the fourth quarter of 2014. As you map out the remainder of your calendar, be sure to factor in your ongoing FEDucation throughout the end of the year. This month, we are taking a look at the educational tools offered to support your use of Federal Reserve Financial Services via the varied eLearning modules we offer. Make good use of your time by learning more about the services your organization uses via our Events and Education curriculum.
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FEDucation is no risky business

September 2014

A critical component to any financial institution’s risk management and fraud detection is education and training, which can help prevent financial losses and reputational harm in a payments environment that continues to evolve with new and more complex risk factors. Education and training alone, though, are not enough. It is essential that your financial institution also identify and leverage the right tools to support your staff in mitigating potential threats. One such tool, developed by the Federal Reserve Banks, is the FedTransaction Analyzer® Service. Learn how the service can help support your institution’s compliance and monitoring processes.


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FedACH® Services: Article Archives

Evolving with the times: Commerce Bank and FedACH Risk® Origination Monitoring

August 2015

The Federal Reserve Banks have been offering the FedACH Risk® Origination Monitoring Service for nearly 10 years now, so we thought it might be a good time to take a look at how the service continues to help financial institutions with their risk management efforts. Back in 2006, a FedFocus article featured Jim Belliveau, executive vice president with Commerce Bank. Because Commerce Bank was one of the FedACH Risk Origination Monitoring Service’s early adopters, we wanted to understand how the service continues to work for the bank today.
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Greatest hits: Commercial Bank sings the praises of FedACH® Services

June 2015

In the March 2015 FedFocus article, “Commercial Bank leverages the ease and automation of the FedTransaction Analyzer® tool,” we spoke with Michelle Huddleston at Commercial Bank in Harrogate, Tennessee. At that time, Huddleston mentioned that the FedTransaction Analyzer tool is only one of several Federal Reserve Financial Services tools her institution employs to manage risk monitoring, compliance and reporting tasks. We wanted to hear more, so we visited again with Huddleston to understand the ways in which her institution benefits from the full range of FedACH Services.
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Bank of Labor utilizes FedGlobal® ACH Payments to provide solutions for its customers

April 2015

Now, more than ever, businesses and consumers are sending money internationally. The FedGlobal ACH Payments service provides financial institutions a wide range of payment options to help meet that demand by combining convenient access to popular payment destinations with robust customer support. Read on to learn how Bank of Labor is using FedGlobal ACH Payments to provide an international payment offering to its customers.


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CoreFirst Bank & Trust scores with the FedPayments Reporter Service

October 2014

Football season has snapped into action and, not surprisingly, it seems as if almost everything lends itself to a football analogy. Just like on the gridiron, delivering exceptional customer service takes a shared philosophy, a well-crafted game plan and a commitment to execution. Let’s look at how the FedPayments® Reporter Service helps a large regional bank, CoreFirst Bank & Trust, deliver value to its small business and corporate clients.
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Discover all that the FedACH Services product suite has to offer

October 2014

The FedACH Services product suite provides financial institutions with efficient, low-cost batched payment services that enable an electronic exchange of debit and credit transactions through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. The suite includes a wide range of easy-to-use transaction and information services that conveniently and seamlessly integrate with all Federal Reserve Financial Services and offer a variety of access and connectivity options. Discover more about the suite of services to find just the right FedACH solution for your organization.
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United Bank turns to FedGlobal ACH Payments to provide an international payments solution

October 2014

As more consumers send money internationally, the Fed is helping financial institutions keep up with customer demand for a low-cost and efficient cross-border payments service. The FedGlobal ACH Payments service provides financial institutions a wide range of payment options to help meet that demand by combining convenient access with robust customer support. Read on to learn how United Bank is using FedGlobal ACH Payments to uphold its philosophy of finding solutions to meet its customers’ needs.
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FedCash® Services: Article Archives

Beyond Mother Nature ... special events may also impact FedCash® Services

July 2015

Mother Nature brings her share of disruptions, but business continuity events are not always weather-related. Special events, such as large political conventions or mega sporting events, may also require advance planning to avoid service disruptions. Learn how to prepare for such events and their impact on FedCash Services operations, cash transportation networks or other key infrastructure.
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Have you ever wondered how U.S. currency makes its way into circulation? Watch this!

June 2015

Did you know that once printed, Federal Reserve notes make their way to the public through the 12 Federal Reserve Banks and their network of cash operations? As explained in our latest video, Michael Lambert, associate director for the U.S. Currency Program at the Federal Reserve Board, discusses how U.S. currency gets into circulation.
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Have you ever wondered how U.S. currency makes its way into circulation? Watch this!

May 2015

In a previous article, we shared how the Federal Reserve Board determines the annual print order for new currency. Did you know that once printed, Federal Reserve notes make their way to the public through the 12 Federal Reserve Banks and their network of cash operations? Learn more about how U.S. currency reaches the public.
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The Federal Reserve Board has ordered 7.2 billion Federal Reserve notes for 2015

January 2015

Each year, the Federal Reserve Board places an order for new currency with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. For 2015, the Federal Reserve Board has ordered 7.2 billion Federal Reserve notes, which reflects the Board’s estimate of net demand for currency from domestic and international customers. Learn more about the denominational breakdown of the Board’s FY 2015 order and how the Board determines how much currency to order.
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National parks honored as America the Beautiful Quarters® Program continues in 2015

January 2015

Now in its sixth year, Federal Reserve Banks are preparing for the continuation of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Since 2010, the United States Mint issues five new quarter-dollar coins each year featuring designs depicting national parks and other national sites. All 56 coins in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program are expected to be introduced by 2021. Discover which quarters are scheduled for release in 2015.
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How to stay informed during FedCash Services disruptions

January 2015

Winter weather or other disruptions sometimes impact FedCash Services operations, cash transportation networks or other key infrastructure. When these business continuity events occur, a Federal Reserve Bank cash office may temporarily reduce hours, limit operations to paying out currency orders or, as a last resort, stop operations to protect the safety of employees. This article reviews our communication approach and reminds depository institutions and armored carriers about how to stay informed during FedCash Services disruptions.
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Use the Deposit Visual Reference Guide as a best practice resource for proper cash packaging

December 2014

To face currency or not to face currency? That is often a question we hear from financial institutions. To help answer this and other inquiries about deposit packaging requirements, the Federal Reserve provides Operating Circular 2 and the Cash Services Manual of Procedures, which contain the provisions and operational guidelines that apply to a financial institution’s cash transactions with the Federal Reserve. In addition, a Deposit Visual Reference Guide is available with detailed descriptions of proper packaging techniques. Review these three inter-related documents and refer to them when questions about deposit packaging requirements arise.
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New Currency Education Program resource available in 23 languages

November 2014

Know Your Money is a comprehensive guide that includes technical information on the security and design features of the current-design $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. The educational brochure is now available to download or order in 23 languages, including Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese. Consider using the Know Your Money guide to train your tellers on how to quickly authenticate U.S. currency because, even with the most technologically advanced security features, it is the educated user of U.S. currency who continues to be the first and best line of defense against counterfeiting. Learn more about the program’s goal and how to sign up for future communications.
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FedLine® Access Solutions: Article Archives

A conversation about security in a rapidly changing environment

May 2015

Back in 2004, we first spoke to you about security in our inaugural issue of FedFocus and during the initial launch of the FedLine Advantage® access solution — our first online solution for transaction-based services. This month, over a decade later, we sit down to have a conversation with Pier Deganello, assistant vice president of Risk Management at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, to learn about the security landscape now. Read on to learn how the security environment has changed and how the FedLine® access solutions can help your institution manage these changes.
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Did you know that fully utilizing your FedLine connection may lead to revenue growth?

April 2015

For many financial institutions, the information that is contained within the Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment file may be as valuable as the actual payment. As the ACH network is increasingly being used to send business-to-business payments, financial institutions that are able to leverage this information will be able to extend its value to their corporate customers and may increase payments-related revenue. Discover how the Fed’s services may help deliver bottom line growth for your institution.
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Farmers & Merchants State Bank enhances its business continuity plan by ordering a backup VPN device

January 2015

Since the Federal Reserve Banks announced the launch of an effort to transition all FedLine Advantage® and FedLine Command® Virtual Private Network (VPN) devices to the more contemporary Next Generation VPN Solution, over 98 percent of all customers have successfully completed their migration. In addition to replacing their legacy VPN devices, many customers have chosen to take advantage of the benefits of adding another VPN device connection. Installation of an additional VPN device can be a critical component of your business continuity plans and is considered a best practice. In the event of a disruption to your primary device, a backup device helps ensure quick failover so that your institution can continue processing. Read about Farmers & Merchants State Bank’s decision to take advantage of the reduced cost to install a backup VPN device at its contingency location.  
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Want to maximize your FedLine connection to efficiently process and reconcile payments?

December 2014

Imagine a world in which you are able to free up vital resources from manual payments processing activities, or achieve greater flexibility and better control of your institution’s Federal Reserve account quickly and easily. As financial institutions with a FedLine access solution connection already know, the Federal Reserve Banks offer a wide array of tools and services that can help you do just that. From making day-to-day payments operations more efficient to potentially increasing your institution’s bottom line, the Fed can help institutions of all sizes with our suite of convenient and flexible options. Read on to learn about the tools and services available to help maximize your FedLine connection.
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Are you taking advantage of the risk management tools provided by your FedLine connection?

November 2014

Fraud prevention and risk management are hot topics these days. From the front line to the board room, we are all working to protect ourselves and our customers while ensuring we comply with rules and regulations. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that financial institutions have sound processes in place to help mitigate risk and avoid loss. To help support your institution with this effort, we offer a full suite of risk management tools, as well as other information services. Learn more about these tools, which can have an immediate positive impact as part of the FedLine access solution.
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Fedwire® Services: Article Archives

There are currently no articles in the FedFocus archive for this service type.

 

 

General: Article Archives

Your opinion is important to us! Take the Fed's publications survey by August 21, 2015

August 2015

As a FedFocus subscriber, you’ve likely come to depend on each monthly issue to keep you informed about hot topics in the industry and to provide insight into the value of our Federal Reserve Financial Services. The Federal Reserve Banks are seeking input from FedFocus and FedFlash® subscribers via an online survey available now through August 21, 2015.
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The what, when and where of the National Settlement Service

April 2015

The National Settlement Service (NSS) is a multilateral settlement system with real-time finality − once a settlement file has been successfully processed by the Federal Reserve Banks, the settlement entries are final and irrevocable. The service offers financial institutions involved in multilateral settlement arrangements a fast and efficient means to settle the obligations that arise under those arrangements. Learn about the benefits of the NSS, its hours of operation and where to go for more information.


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2014 Payments Fraud Survey seeks to uncover fraud trends and most common fraud schemes

February 2015

Payment fraud attacks and losses using card and check transactions continue to outpace those of other payment types; regardless, all payments are vulnerable to fraud. In this article, we’ll present a few interesting highlights of the 2014 Payments Fraud Survey Summary of Regional Results — a first time effort by the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Chicago to combine responses from their districts into one report.
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Questioning how to increase efficiency and reduce risk? FedComplete Packages may be just the answer.

February 2015

Did you know that the Federal Reserve Banks now offer four FedComplete® Packages that provide a great opportunity for your institution to potentially save money on the services you use today, while giving you access to additional services to try and contingency backup options to consider? Learn why these packages are an excellent option for institutions with low-to-moderate transaction volumes that have an interest in processing their own payments through a FedLine Advantage® Plus or Premier connection.


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What’s the buzz? Hear what our customers are saying about Federal Reserve Financial Services

December 2014

If you are a regular FedFocus reader, you may have noticed that throughout 2014 we have featured many of our customers who have shared testimonials about the benefits they derive from our products and services. You’ll notice that these customers are scattered across the country, and while the oldest institution was established in 1894 the newest has not yet celebrated two decades of service. No matter how diverse, each has attested that their experiences with the Fed have been quite positive. Now, at year end, we’d like to share article highlights and focus your attention on the words of our customers as they discuss the ease of setup, derived benefits of our services, Fed-provided customer support and the wide variety of resources, of which, you, too, can take advantage.
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Federal Reserve Banks commemorate a century of visionaries and progress during Centennial year

December 2014

The Federal Reserve’s Centennial year began on December 23, 2013, marking the first important milestone in its formation: the signing of the Federal Reserve Act by President Woodrow Wilson. Throughout 2014, commemoration of the Federal Reserve’s Centennial has occurred at a System level and each Federal Reserve Bank has sponsored activities at a local level. One such effort is the book, Highways of Commerce: Central Banking and the U.S. Payments System, written by Bill Medley of the Kansas City Fed’s Public Affairs staff. Read on to explore the history behind the Federal Reserve's current roles as overseer and participant in the payments system and the ongoing debate over the central bank's responsibilities.
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Federal Reserve Banks announce 2015 pricing and products

November 2014

The Federal Reserve Banks are committed to collaborating with payment system participants and stakeholders to benefit the financial services industry. Continuing to foster these relationships better positions us to help ensure a more efficient, reliable and secure payment and securities settlement system. Changes planned for 2015 reflect our efforts to provide financial institutions of all sizes with more efficient and reliable products and services. Additionally, these changes support the Federal Reserve Financial Services Strategic Plan to improve the speed of payments, ultimately reducing payment system risk. Read more about the Fed’s commitment to providing innovative services that meet the evolving needs of our customers.


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Industry Perspective: Article Archives

Werkema on his new role as Payments Strategy Director

July 2015

In an announcement on May 29, 2015, the Federal Reserve named Gordon Werkema as the new Payments Strategy Director tasked with leading the major payment system improvement initiatives outlined in the “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System” paper. Werkema was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions and give us some insight into his new role as Payments Strategy Director.


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Remittance Coalition publishes Small Business Payments Toolkit

July 2015

Converting every U.S. business from paper to e-payments and achieving a ubiquitous, straight-through, electronic process for sending remittance information may seem like impossible tasks, but that’s exactly what a group called the Remittance Coalition is working toward. A recent output from the group is the Small Business Payments Toolkit, which provides information to small businesses on electronic payments.
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Payments Stakeholders: Can't We All Just Work Together?

May 2015

The February 23, 2015, Take On Payments weekly blog featured an article entitled, “Payments Stakeholders: Can't We All Just Work Together?” written by David Lott, a retail payments risk expert in the Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Read on for a reprint of the article, which calls to mind the insightful words of Henry Ford.
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Engage for change: Join the Fed's payments improvement task forces

April 2015

The time to join is now! The Federal Reserve has opened registration for two task forces described in its recently published Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System paper. The Faster Payments Task Force and Secure Payments Task Force are part of the Fed’s strategy to enhance its level of engagement with payment stakeholders to advance the strategies set forth in the paper. Each task force is open to all interested stakeholders with relevant payments knowledge and experience who can commit the required time and resources to these key initiatives. Find out how you can get involved!
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Federal Reserve publishes Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System

February 2015

The Federal Reserve’s strategic direction for financial services focuses on improving the end-to-end speed, safety and efficiency of the payment system. The Federal Reserve undertook an extensive 18-month research program aimed at identifying key gaps and opportunities, gaining industry and end-user perspectives on needs and priorities and defining ways to achieve payment improvements. On January 26, 2015, the Fed published, Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System, which details the conclusions of those efforts and communicates a multi-faceted plan for collaborating with payment stakeholders — including large and small businesses, emerging payments firms, card networks, payment processors and financial institutions — to enhance the speed, safety and efficiency of the U.S. payment system. Learn more details about the strategies plus ways you can engage for change.
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Payments study reveals substantial changes in the composition of noncash payments

September 2014

The U.S. payment system is one of the largest, most complex engines of commerce in the world. Every day, billions of transactions occur between buyers and sellers of goods and services. While cash continues to be used widely for these transactions and plays an important function as a store of value, card and Automated Clearing House noncash payments more than doubled since 2000. Based on The 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study data, while the number of total noncash payments grew almost 69 percent since 2000, the composition of noncash payments also changed substantially. Find out more about the trends in noncash payments by number and type of transaction.
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Risk Management: Article Archives

Eight ways to help you spot a fake email

March 2015

In recent years, email phishing has become more and more prevalent. These emails can target individuals or entire organizations in an attempt to gather information to be used to install malware, compromise login names and passwords or steal confidential or privileged data. Although no one is immune, we can take precautions to lessen our chances of being spoofed. Check out this list of eight ways to spot a fake and keep it handy in case you receive a questionable email.  
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Treasury Services: Article Archives

There are currently no articles in the FedFocus archive for this service type.

 

 

eBusiness: Article Archives

There are currently no articles in the FedFocus archive for this service type.