Learning about FedNow

The Research Project

Starting in the fall of 2022, CU*Answers began studying the evolving world of payment processing, specifically the RTP© Network (The ClearingHouse) and FedNowSM (Federal Reserve) programs, and third-party partners who may be able to help us hook into these systems in order to receive funds for our credit unions on behalf of their members. Our goal was to understand the scope of potential projects, who we could partner with to connect, technical details about how the process works, and potential implications for fraud management.

For details about our RTP project, review the separate recipe.

Remember that these are payment options in addition to regular ACH.  Whatever we do with these new payment channels will have no effect on our current ACH processes and functionality.

Status update as of August 18, 2023: Starting this month the Fed finally opened up the ability for us to start working with them on the development for our direct connection between CU*BASE and the Fed. Agreements have been signed and we have started the technical planning for hooking into this network.  Our champion credit union is Frankenmuth CU. 


Q: Will this project be in phases, like what you are doing with RTP?

A: Yes. Our first phase will allow CUs to jump on the FedNow rail and receive deposits to member accounts. After that we’ll tackle the Send and Request for Payment (RfP) functions, which, like RTP, will require a great deal more controls and fraud mitigation components.

Q: My corporate credit union said that they can hook us up to FedNow.  Are you going to be working with corporates on this?

A: Our plan is to go directly to the Fed and complete all components of the project – Receive, Send, and Request for Payment – before we open the door to working directly with any particular corporate CU’s solution. Remember that unlike RTP, which you can hook to without changing your existing relationship with your corporate credit union, FedNow will require a greater level of entanglement with the corporate. Our plan is intended to allow everyone across the entire network to tap into FedNow without having to alter their existing corporate CU relationship.


Chefs for this recipe: Dawn Moore, Jim Lawrence, Jeff Miller

August 18, 2023

4 Responses to “Learning about FedNow”

  1. Veronica King

    So sounds like if you ” our core ” will not be partenering with specific corporate credit unions, like Catlyst to start. If we wanted to offer this FedNow Service for our members, it would be something we set up with you, and you will provide all we need to have that intergrated to our mobile and online applications. If you are starting off with only the receive, is there any idea how long before you would be able to offer both the SEND and RECEIVE and the request for payment?

    • Dawn Moore

      On the RTP side, as you can see by the research summary we compiled for RTP Send, we have a lot of work to do, and keep in mind we have to invent this completely from scratch. Although FedNow is not exactly the same, a lot of the same requirements will be true for FedNow. So far we’ve received very little direction from CUs who’ve done their due diligence enough to have their own fraud mitigation strategies and wish list of controls ready to share, so if you have requirements to share, we’d love to hear them! (For example, do you want members to be able to send up to a million dollars to anywhere in the middle of the night, or do you want to vet those payments before they go out? Remember that like wires, you have no recourse to get that money back if it’s sent fraudulently.)

      We have no target date for FedNow Receive yet, so I cannot give you any estimate on Send and Request for Payment at this time. But stay tuned for news as things move along!

  2. Thomas Domingue

    Our Corporate Credit Union, Vizo, is set up and currently ready to handle “receiving” payments through FedNow. However, we cannot take advantage of this because CU Answers is not set up for this (according to Vizo). I’m reading that other credit unions are taking advantage of their Corporate Credit Union (PIMA FCU, who utilizes Catalyst, for example) being set up to take advantage and offer this service through their corporate credit union. I believe CU Answers has established connections with Vizo, so please help me to understand what the challenges would be in creating a process where we offer this service through Vizo/CUA channel.

  3. Marty Willms

    We have a member who is interested in using QuickBooks Instant Deposit. She is asking if we can accept instant deposits. Our corporate is Alloya and is ready with FedNow, however, we are waiting access to this service on your side. Once this is in place will the QuickBooks Instant Deposit work for this member?


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