The Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network is the backbone for the electronic movement of money and payment-related data in the US. It is also a batch system and so therefore slow (i.e. not real-time)! The Federal Reserve convened a roundtable in June to discuss the future of ACH and the participants broadly agreed that the way to faster payments is to ditch the antiquated infrastructure and start over fresh.
Payments in the US lag behind much of the world and many Americans inside and outside of the financial services community would like to move their money more quickly. The Federal Reserve agrees, and convened a roundtable that determined the only way to make payments faster would be to develop a completely new system. In a roundtable discussion convened on June 3 and 4, 50 participants broadly agreed that the way to faster payments is to ditch the antiquated CH infrastructure and start over fresh. Easier said than done. This viewpoint is hardly new, and faces considerable challenges from entrenched players, but it is significant that the group recommending ditching ACH was dominated by bankers.