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Faster and smoother payment processes may eliminate float for corporate payables teams, but they also provide enormous opportunities to streamline processes and gain much more precise control over cash balances. That’s why most corporate treasurers love the idea of being able to initiate and finalize transactions in seconds, rather than waiting days for them to clear.

Back in August, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to take the first step toward instantaneous payments in the U.S. market. Since then, the Fed has been working to build out a real-time payments settlement system, which will be called the FedNow service. In the announcement, Fed governor Lael Brainard explained this move by saying: “Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community. FedNow will permit banks of every size, in every community across the country, to provide real-time payments to their customers.”

The Fed describes FedNow as a way to modernize the nation’s payment system. Widespread adoption of FedNow would render obsolete the Automated Clearing House (ACH) framework that currently settles interbank transactions.

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