Insights from Catalyst

Welcome to Catalyst Corporate's blog - Insights from Catalyst. Here, read what thought leaders have to say about credit union news, trends and industry happenings. Have a blog idea, want to contribute or need to know more? Contact the Communications Team

A Checkpoint from the Road to Faster Payments

June 13, 2019

by Glenn Wheeler, Director, Item Processing Operations

Latest Insights & Developments from the U.S. Faster Payments CouncilFaster Payments

The road to faster payments is forging ahead, and the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) is working hard to advance its progress. To recap, the payments industry assembled the FPC as a next step to initial research conducted by the Federal Reserve and Faster Payments Task Force. The goal of the FPC is to further define their plan for “secure, ubiquitous faster payments by 2020.”

Catalyst Corporate serves alongside 140 other payment services stakeholders as a founding member of the FPC. As previously reported, the FPC established six work groups to address core issues surrounding the faster payments initiative. Members of these work groups reflect the many diverse perspectives and faster payments needs of various stakeholder sectors. Catalyst Corporate is involved at every level, with a team member on each of the six work groups.

Recent developments.

The FPC held its first meeting on May 29, 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to further establish the FPC framework, outline work group initiatives and continue the overall faster payments momentum. Major updates from the inaugural meeting include:

Board of Directors Elected

At this meeting, the FPC elected its first Board of Directors. Representing each of the FPC’s six membership segments, board members include:

Business End-Users

  • John Drechny, Merchant Advisory Group (1-year term)
  • Reed Luhtanen, Walmart Inc. (3-year term)
  • Perry Starr, Target Corporation (2-year term)

Consumer Organizations

  • Cathy Mansfield, National Consumer Law Center (2-year term)
  • Adam Rust, Reinvestment Partners (3-year term)

Financial Institutions

  • Michael Bilski, North American Banking Company (3-year term)
  • Roy DeCicco, JPMorgan (1-year term)*
  • Mark Keeling, The Bankers Bank (2-year term)
  • Robert L. Palmer, Community Bankers Association of Ohio (1-year term)


  • Susan Doyle, EPCOR (3-year term)
  • Jim Kaitz, Association for Financial Professionals (1-year term)*
  • Steve Kenneally, American Bankers Association (2-year term)
  • Jane Larimer, Nacha (1-year term)

Payment Network Operators

  • Matt Friend, Visa (3-year term)
  • Andrea Gilman, Mastercard (2-year term)
  • Steve Ledford, The Clearing House (1-year term)

Technology Providers

  • Kevin Christensen, SHAZAM (2-year term)
  • Gene Neyer, Icon Solutions (1-year term)
  • Deborah Phillips, Jack Henry & Associates Inc. (3-year term)
  • Pat Thelen, Ripple (1-year term)*

*At-large member

According to a recent FPC press release, “The Board is accountable to the members for setting strategic direction and ensuring processes, activities and recommendations are consistent with the fundamental principles of the organization. In addition, the Board is responsible for ensuring the views of segments with fewer members are heard during deliberations at the Board, committee and work group levels.”

Together, the FPC members outlined the Board’s short-term objectives which include “formalizing the organization’s strategic direction and establishing foundational structure.” The Board, with the help of the Executive Search Committee, will also be responsible for confirming the FPC’s first executive director. This announcement is expected by summer 2019.

Work Group Progress

In addition to the Board elections, each of the work groups convened to outline objectives and discuss next steps. Although each is tasked with different initiatives, the Education and Awareness Work Group (EAWG) met to sort out the basics – starting with payments terminology. Collectively, the EAWG came to a consensus on a definition for faster payments and real-time payments, which they believe helps build a strong foundation for the faster payment efforts moving forward.

Faster Payments:

The term “faster payments” is broadly used in the payment industry to indicate simply that increased speed, convenience, and accessibility are essential features for the future of the payment and settlement system.

Real-Time Payments:

Real-time payment includes the transmission of the payment message and the availability of final funds to the payee, occurs in real-time or near-real time, and on as near to a 24-hour and 7-day basis as possible.

In the future, the EAWG plans to define use cases and develop universal collateral in support of the Faster Payments initiative. Altogether, the FPC will continue to drive progress and push the wheels of payment change forward.

Stay connected to the faster payments initiative. Catalyst Corporate will provide updates from the U.S. Faster Payments Council as they continue to unfold. To learn more, please visit: