The American Bankers Association recently asked the Federal Reserve to achieve a state of interoperability with The Clearing House RTP network. They are asking for technical interoperability which will not happen in my mind, at least not at the network level. Large banks and processors will have to do the dirty work to make this happen. They are also asking for a common set of rules and applicable regulation which I believe must happen to achieve a reach that gets close to ubiquity. A short but important article ran in the American Banker with further explanation:
In a comment letter to the Federal Reserve today, the American Bankers Association offered feedback on a recent proposal to revise Regulation J to accommodate the new FedNow Service, which is expected to go live in 2023.
The proposal would create a new subjection in Regulation J that will apply solely to FedNow Service transactions.
In the letter, ABA called on the Fed to strive towards interoperability with the TCH Real Time Payments Network and, at a minimum, to adopt policies and procedures that are consistent with existing industry practices. ABA also recommended that the definition of “immediately” in Reg J remain undefined, at least until the FedNow Service conducts a technical assessment of what would be reasonable.
ABA also recommended that the Fed change its intended plans to apply Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Uniform Commercial Code Article 4A to consumer transactions with any inconsistencies to be governed by the EFTA, emphasizing that EFTA should apply only to consumer transactions. The proposed method would create legal gaps in the areas of finality, acceptance, and allocation of liability among participating banks, ABA said. The association added that any gaps created by removing the application of UCC 4A to these transactions can be better addressed in FedNow Service Operating Circulars, which ABA also urged the Fed to make subject to public notice and comment.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group