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Learn how to stay informed during a disruption with Service Status

Being prepared for a service disruption is an important part of your organization's contingency planning. The Federal Reserve is committed to providing you with the highest possible level of service, and communicating with your organization during a service disruption is important. The best way to stay informed on the operational status of services provided by the Federal Reserve Banks is by going to the Service Status page on FRBservices.orgSM.

Service Status alerts provide helpful information such as the Fed's operating status, recommended actions, alternative processing solutions and contact information. Depending on the severity of the issue, updates will be posted every 30 to 60 minutes until resolution. When needed, Service Status also includes General Notifications that cover other news, like the approach of a potentially disruptive hurricane. The information below will be helpful for your organization if a service disruption occurs.

Q: How do I access Service Status?

A: Everyone in your organization with internet access can view Service Status by clicking on the Service Status link in the upper right-hand corner of any page. We recommend that you bookmark this page for future reference and ensure your staff is familiar with it as well.

Q: How can I tell if a service disruption has been posted to Service Status?

A: As shown below, alerts that are active will show up on the right-hand side of the Service Status page. Critical information about what’s happening, what to do and who to contact will be displayed within the alert. To view this information, click on the “(more)” link next to the alert name.

Service Status Alert

Q: What does each color mean on the Service Status page?

A: An alert level indicates the severity of the service disruption. As shown in the legend below, green represents normal operations, while yellow indicates a minor service issue and red indicates a more severe service disruption.

Alert Level Legend

Q: Where else can I go for information during a service disruption?

A: FedLine® Home is another important source of day-to-day operational notifications and service updates, as well as service alerts related to disruptions. FedLine Home messages are only accessible by your institution’s authorized FedLine Subscribers and End User Authorization Contacts (EUACs).

Whether you’re in the middle of a service disruption or just planning ahead, the Federal Reserve’s Business Continuity Guides are another great resource. Guides are available for the following services and applications:

Together,, Service Status and FedLine Home are critical resources for the latest information about your organization’s Federal Reserve Bank Services. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your business continuity options, contact your account executive.

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  • In This Issue


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    FedACH® Feature: Automate notice of returns and NOCs to your ACH originators

    As an originating depository financial institution (ODFI), you need to send notice of Automated Clearing House (ACH) returns and notifications of change (NOCs) to your originators. Did you know the FedPayments® Reporter Service can do this work for you?

    The FedPayments Reporter Service searches ACH files for valuable information such as return items, death notification entries (DNEs), International ACH Transaction (IAT) entries and financial Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messages. The service then converts this data into human-readable reports and lets financial institutions automatically distribute this information internally or out to their business customers. Check out the reports below to see how the FedPayments Reporter Service can help your institution.

    • Notification of Change (NOC) Report
      • Carries information for each notification of change entry received (COR SEC code)
      • Provides information contained in the original forward entry along with the change information supplied by the receiving depository financial institution (RDFI)
      • Helps ODFIs comply with the ACH Rules requirements associated with these entries
      • Enables automatic sharing of this information with your originators via an encrypted email service
    • Return Item Report
      • Carries information on return items and operator-rejected entries received
      • Provides the information contained in the forward entry along with return information supplied by the RDFI and the domestic ACH operator or international ACH gateway operator
      • Helps to easily understand information associated with returned items
      • Enables automatic sharing of this information with your originators via an encrypted email service
    • ACH Return Reason Report
      • Carries summary-level information of return reason codes by Originator
      • Helps identify returns where the Originator ID has not been established or has been incorrectly entered
      • Enables automatic sharing of this information with your originators via an encrypted email service

    Action Item:

    Learn more about the FedPayments Reporter Service by viewing sample reports (PDF) and reading report descriptions. You can also request that your account executive contact you (Off-site).

    In This Issue


    Fed Facts: What’s that symbol? Four Federal Reserve note identifiers

    In April 2018, nearly $1.6 trillion in U.S. currency was in circulation worldwide. You may know that Federal Reserve notes are composed of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen, but are you familiar with the identifiers and symbols that can be found across each denomination? While intricate designs make Federal Reserve notes visually appealing, some details add complexity and serve as security features. The U.S. government periodically redesigns Federal Reserve notes for security reasons: to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats and to keep counterfeiting levels low. Did you know that because the $1 note is infrequently counterfeited, its design has not changed since it was issued in 1963? Let’s take a look at four of the features and symbols that are commonly found on Federal Reserve notes.

    #1 Serial numbers

    Each Federal Reserve note contains a serial number that provides key information about the note. This unique combination of characters appears twice on the front of the note.

    The numbering system for U.S. currency was adopted in 1928. Notes printed before 1996 have serial numbers that consist of one letter, eight digits and one letter. As shown in the table below, the prefix letter identifies the Federal Reserve Bank to which the notes were issued. The last letter advances through the alphabet when all eight serial numbers have been printed for a specific Federal Reserve Bank within the same series. For example, a note with the serial number A12345678B indicates that it was issued to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The $1 and $2 notes still use this format.

    Federal Reserve Bank of ...DistrictIdentifier
    Boston First A
    New York Second B
    Philadelphia Third C
    Cleveland Fourth D
    Richmond Fifth E
    Atlanta Sixth F
    Chicago Seventh G
    St. Louis Eighth H
    Minneapolis Ninth I
    Kansas City Tenth J
    Dallas Eleventh K
    San Francisco Twelfth L

    Currency printed since 1996, like the example below, has a second prefix letter in the serial number and follows a two-letter, eight-digit and one-letter format. The first letter of the prefix designates the series (for example, the letter A designates Series 1996). The second prefix letter designates the Federal Reserve Bank to which the notes are issued. In the example, AB12345678B, we can identify that this is a 1996 series note issued to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Federal Reserve Note Serial Numbers

    A list of series letters (Off-site) and their corresponding years can be found at (Off-site).

    #2 The Treasury Seal

    The Treasury Seal, shown below, can be found across all denominations of Federal Reserve notes. A green seal to the right of the portrait on each note represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The design of the seal was changed to incorporate an English inscription and appears on all Federal Reserve notes of the 1969 series year or later.

    The Treasury Seal

    #3 The Great Seal of the United States

    The two most prominent features on the back of the $1 note are the pyramid and the eagle, which together constitute the Great Seal of the United States.

    As shown below, the American bald eagle is supporting a shield that is composed of 13 stripes that represent the original states. The top horizontal stripe represents Congress. “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) represents this union. The olive branch and 13 arrows denote the power of peace and war, which is exclusively vested in Congress. The constellation of stars denotes a new state taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers.

    The Great Seal

    The pyramid, shown below, represents strength and duration. The eye over it and the motto, “Annuit Coeptis” (He [God] has favored our undertakings), allude to the many interventions of providence in favor of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (A new order of the ages), signify the beginning of the new American era in 1776.

    The Pyramid

    #4 Federal Reserve Seals

    For $1 and $2 notes, the seal to the left of the portrait represents one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Like the prefix of the note’s serial number, the seal identifies the Federal Reserve Bank to which the notes were issued. In the example below, the note was issued to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

    The Federal Reserve Seal

    For all other denominations, the note features the Federal Reserve System Seal (shown below) rather than a Federal Reserve Bank-specific seal.

    The Federal Reserve System Seal


    There are several resources available to help you learn more about the features of U.S. currency. A comprehensive list of Federal Reserve Note identifiers (Off-site) is available on the (Off-site) website. To learn more about how money is made, visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (Off-site) website.


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