The Federal Reserve has just entered the testing phase of its new instant payment service, FedNow.
The Federal Reserve has just entered the testing phase of its new instant payment service, FedNow. Inspired by the Brazilian system, Pix, FedNow aims to revolutionize how North Americans send and receive money, and it places all eyes on the world's largest economy on the subject of payment innovation.
Banks will have less than a year to prepare for the launch of the long-awaited FedNow. While it's not yet clear exactly how it works, the Federal Reserve's vice president, Lael Brainard, said that the success of the system will depend on industry stakeholders—financial institutions, core service providers, software companies and application developers—devoting the appropriate resources to making the system viable for consumers before its launch, which should take place next summer.
These stakeholders must devote effort, time and money into innovation and technology. Through a robust and reliable software development framework, financial institutions should be able to offer a quality service that meets the needs of today's world, especially in terms of digital processes, automation and digital wallets.
Article from Mateus Rodrigues, Forbes Councils Member*
As stated, Pix is the basic model for FedNow. Launched in 2020, Pix is now operated by more than 770 institutions, according to Bacen (Central Bank of Brazil). Adjustments happened quickly with its implementation, meaning that institutions had to use agile and specialized methods with clearly defined scopes and assertive planning that maximized value.
In this article, I will look at how the Brazilian experience can serve as a basis for getting ahead and pioneering the implementation of FedNow. Having worked directly with several customers who implemented Pix, I was able to experience threats and opportunities. I have distilled those learnings into five lessons which may prove valuable in order to successfully implement integration with FedNow:
1. Get out in front now.
The absence—or poor quality—of a feature is as damaging with FedNow implementation as it is with any other software development project. But payment and transfer systems require a large amount of security and trust. Become experts in law and regulation, and differentiation can come when you combine credibility with a good user experience.
2. Learn (and create) the rules of the game.
As stated above, begin by studying all the mandatory requirements of regulatory bodies but also try to actively participate in discussions about any decisions that have not been made yet. By being part of the discussion, your institution can prepare and/or adapt architecture and infrastructure that meets the necessary requirements.
3. Don't do it alone.
Once your team has a strong understanding of the requirements, invest in partnerships that accelerate the digital transformation aspects of implementation. While it's crucial to implement FedNow as soon as possible, your company can't go bankrupt in pursuit of this mission. In order to feel secure, look for experienced partners who can support you in executing this project. Outsourcing software development, for example, can help reduce the risks related to the abrupt increase of people working on your technology team.
4. Create a good user experience.
One of the significant differentiators and reasons for Pix's success was a focus on user experience (UX). Because it is easy to use, consumers were more likely to accept adoption. With FedNow, it can't be any different. Making the experience simple and enjoyable will be critical for your customers. Spend a lot of time considering the layout, design and interface. Invest in good UX/UI designers, and be demanding when ensuring ease of use for end-users.
5. Credibility, security and fault tolerance are key.
The testing and usability team within the development squad can and should certify the quality of deliveries and perform automated load and performance tests, reducing the possibility of failures. Think about use cases that seem somewhat absurd, as this can help avoid fraud, losses and errors by the users. This step was essential with Pix, since it was necessary to maintain a very high availability and exceptional performance levels while giving total security to operations.
In short, it is certain that every instant payment system—be it Pix, FedNow or others that will come—is born to make life easier for those who matter most: end-users. In addition to enabling a new means of payment for the U.S. system, FedNow will open a new range of possibilities for new business. There is room to make history and discover new methods to facilitate processes, and it is crucial to look to previous successes in order to understand how to do so.