Outage in Federal Reserve’s Payment System
On November 3, a glitch in one of the Federal Reserve’s payment systems caused disruptions in customer deposits for some of the largest banks in the United States. The incident was attributed to a “processing issue” in the Automated Clearing House (ACH), a widely used payment processing network utilized by banks and employers for depositing wages into employee bank accounts.
Operated by the Federal Reserve
The ACH network is jointly operated by the Federal Reserve Banks and the Electronic Payment Network, making it a crucial component of the U.S. financial infrastructure.
Assurances of Security and Service Restoration
Banks have emphasized that customer accounts remain secure, and the Federal Reserve has confirmed that all services were fully restored by 4:44 pm UTC. However, some customers are still reporting difficulties, with some unable to receive their paychecks. Georgiaree Godrey, one such affected individual, expressed her frustration as the delay in payment hindered her ability to pay rent.
Financial Strain on Americans
A CNBC survey from September revealed that 61% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, marking an increase from 58% in March. This highlights the financial strain many individuals face, making timely access to funds crucial.
Timeline of Outage Reports
Reports of outages began around 11:00 am UTC on November 3. Bank of America experienced a peak of 313 reports within a 15-minute interval at 4:00 pm UTC, according to Downdetector. Similarly, Chase and Wells Fargo faced similar peaks of 279 and 137 reports, respectively, during the same timeframe.
Image Source: cointelegraph.com
FedNow Offers an Alternative
The Federal Reserve introduced FedNow in July, providing banks and money transmitter services with the capability to conduct instant payments without relying on the ACH network. This innovation aims to enhance the efficiency and reliability of payment processing.
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