WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) applauded the Federal Reserve’s decision to move forward on building a real-time payments system. Currently, Americans lose billions of dollars each year in overdraft fees, driving consumers to turn to more costly financial products because of our inefficient payments system. Taxpayers deserve a public utility that allows them to safely and securely access their own money and that allows small institutions and entrepreneurs to compete on a more even playing field. The Fed’s decision today will address these issues and create a payments system that will benefit all Americans. Representatives García and Pressley and Senators Van Hollen and Warren recently introduced legislation requiring the Fed to act.
“In July, I introduced the Payment Modernization Act of 2019 with Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) instructing the Federal Reserve to modernize their payments systems to help working families access their money on time. I am pleased to see that the Fed is taking action and will initiate a real-time payments system for the millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Competition between a real-time payments system run by big banks and the system announced today by our central bank will ensure that the greatest possible number of small businesses and consumers benefit from a fast, efficient system,” said Congressman García.
“Today’s decision from the Federal Reserve is a huge win for the American people and for our economy. For too long, consumers and small businesses have unfairly shouldered the costs our slow payments system – despite the fact that we have the technology to update it and a clear and urgent need to do so. I’m glad to see the Fed is heeding our calls to act, and that the American people will soon have a payments system that works for them,”said Senator Van Hollen. “I will continue working with the Fed to push towards the timely implementation of this new system.”
“I’m glad the Fed has finally taken action to ensure that people living paycheck-to-paycheck don’t have to wait up to five days for a check to clear so that they can pay their rent, cover child care, or pick up groceries. Today’s Fed action will also help small businesses by making payments from customers available more quickly,” said Senator Warren. “I look forward to working with the Fed to ensure a swift and smooth implementation of this system.”
“Today the Federal Reserve Bank affirmed the right of consumers and small businesses to access and move their money in real time,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Although this decision is long overdue, I’m pleased that the Fed is formalizing the commitment Chair Powell made to me last month to create an accessible, secure, and ubiquitous payments system for all Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to ensure that this system is implemented in a timely, transparent, and responsible manner.”