Reliability and Safety Are Important

March 29, 2018

Reliability of the payments system is important for the public and the nation's financial system. Because executing payments involves interrelated systems of a host of entities that clear, settle, or record various transactions, there can be structural risks to the country’s financial system should any element suffer a delay or failure. A failure at one entity could spread, ultimately leading to disruption in financial markets more broadly.

"The safety and efficiency of these systems may affect the safety and soundness of U.S. financial institutions and, in many cases, are vital to the financial stability of the United States," according to the Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk.

Mitigating payments system risks is crucial, and the policy outlines broad public policy goals around efficiency and safety.

"Overall, the payments system must be innovative, while also addressing risks, supporting financial stability, and maintaining public confidence," said current Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in a March 2017 speech.

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