The Federal Reserve says it is on track to hit "significant milestones" this year in its long journey towards finally bringing faster payments to America.
The Fed invited firms to submit their proposals for faster payments systems by the end of April 2016. Having weeded out some through an evaluation by McKinsey, 19 are now facing further scrutiny, evaluated against 36 effectiveness criteria.
To do this, two task forces were set up - one focused on faster payment capabilities, while the other is working security, sizing up vendors including Nacha, ACI and Dwolla.
This month the faster payments task force published the first part (PDF) of a report, describing its history and background, including the process undertaken to identify and assess faster payments pitches.
It will now complete its assessment of the proposals and develop recommendations and next steps for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments, publishing the second part of its report in the middle of the year.
Meanwhile, the security task force will set out ways for the industry to improve payment identity management practices, provide guidance on standardising definitions of fraud and risk data so it can be easily interpreted and acted upon, and publish a framework for protecting sensitive payment data.
Esther George, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says: "The Fed's priority is to advance improvements that are in the public interest so that consumers and businesses alike have access to efficient, real-time and highly secure payments in the United States."