Immediate access to funds for consumers is increasingly important and real-time payments will help credit unions improve access to funds, CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Financial Technology Thursday. The task force conducted a hearing on real-time payments and CUNA submitted its letter for the record.
“Real-time payments will help credit unions provide necessary financial services to their members and improve members access to their funds. Credit unions exist to help their members, but cannot do it alone. Credit unions rely on networks of key vendors to provide service to members and no current vendor is more critical than the Federal Reserve.
The letter adds that the CUNA and its members strongly support the Federal Reserve’s decision to develop and operate a real-time payments network, and also support efforts of The Clearing House (TCH) to develop its own real-time payments network.
“From a pure public policy standpoint having multiple real-time payments networks will ensure a more robust banking system. As the plumbing of the payments systems is essentially a utility, having multiple operators will help make the system more robust against a cyber-attack or other unforeseen technical glitches,” the letter reads. “Also, competition breeds innovation, and not just in product features but in other aspects such as the security and robustness of the system.”
CUNA also said the Federal Reserve is the only vendor that works with nearly all credit unions and has the bandwidth and expertise to provide services to the entire financial services sector.
CUNA wrote a letter with similar thoughts to the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday for its hearing on faster payments.