FedNow, not later: Why credit unions need to prepare today

How to stay ahead in the digital payments era.

April 24, 2023

Are you a credit union looking to stay ahead of the curve in the digital payments era? Then it's time to start preparing for FedNow, the Federal Reserve's instant payment system. FedNow will soon offer the ability to process transactions 24/7, 365, which means faster and more efficient payment processing for your members.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and credit unions need to be aware of the fraud risks that come with offering instant payments. Here are some of the most common fraud issues that credit unions may face—and tips for mitigating them.

The most common fraud risk is fake or fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters can initiate transactions that appear to be legitimate but are, in fact, fake or fraudulent. Credit unions need to have strong monitoring and fraud detection systems in place to identify and prevent these types of transactions. Real-time transaction monitoring, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) technologies can help detect unusual patterns or behavior.

Fraudsters can also use FedNow to launder money or transfer illicit funds. Credit unions need to have robust anti-money laundering (AML) measures in place to prevent this from happening. AML compliance requires knowing your members, detecting unusual behavior, and reporting suspicious activity. Credit unions should also have dedicated AML teams to monitor and report any suspicious activity.

Lastly, it's essential to train staff and members to detect and prevent fraud. Credit unions should have ongoing training programs that cover fraud prevention, cybersecurity, and other risk management topics. Members should also be educated on how to protect their accounts and what to do if they suspect fraud.

In conclusion, offering FedNow will be a game-changer for credit unions, providing faster and more efficient payment processing for members. However, credit unions must be aware of the fraud risks that come with offering instant payments. By implementing strong authentication measures, monitoring systems, AML compliance, and ongoing training programs, credit unions can mitigate these risks and protect their members' funds from fraud.

Don't wait any longer; it's time to start offering FedNow and stay ahead in the digital payments era.