The Federal Reserve said Monday that it will build and operate a real-time payments system, a long-awaited decision that was sure to please many smaller financial institutions while antagonizing the nation’s biggest banks.
“The U.S. real-time retail payment infrastructure stands to gain from competition,” Fed Gov. Lael Brainard said during a speech in Kansas City, Mo., “including through higher service quality and lower prices over the long run, which in turn should support wider adoption.”
The announcement ended years of uncertainty about whether the central bank would take a hands-on role in a modern U.S. payments network or instead defer to the private sector.
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