Fed governor Bowman hypes FedNow over CBDC

Technology, Innovation, and Financial Services
Governor Michelle W. Bowman
August 17, 2022

Payments is another area where innovation continues to flourish, and the Federal Reserve is actively engaged in shaping the future payments landscape.

The FedNowSM Service will enable financial institutions of every size, and in every community across America, to provide safe and efficient instant payment services. It is intended to be a flexible, neutral platform that will support a broad variety of instant payments. It will allow depository institutions and their service providers to offer value-added services to their customers, ultimately enhancing competition in the market for payment services. Completing and implementing FedNow is a high priority, and we expect it to be available by mid-2023.

FedNow will help transform the way payments are made through new services that allow consumers and businesses to make payments conveniently, in real time, on any day, and with immediate availability of funds for receivers. Our assessment of these benefits has not changed even as we consider whether a central bank digital currency (CBDC) might fit into the future U.S. money and payments landscape.

My expectation is that FedNow addresses the issues that some have raised about the need for a CBDC. As I’m sure you are already aware, earlier this year we published a discussion paper that outlined some design principles, costs, and benefits of a CBDC and solicited public comments. We received over 2,000 comments, and we are currently reviewing these comments and plan to publish a summary of them.

The full speech is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bowman20220817a.htm

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