The U.S. Federal Reserve’s controversial instant payments service, FedNow, went live Thursday with 35 banks and credit unions participating, the central bank announced.
Early adopters include JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, with 16 other institutions supporting processing of payments that the Fed argues will offer just-in-time access to paychecks and invoices.
“The Federal Reserve built the FedNow Service to help make everyday payments over the coming years faster and more convenient,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a statement.
Officials including Powell have previously said the real-time payment network is needed to avoid having to depend on private sector alternatives, like the now abandoned stablecoin Diem (previously named Libra) by Marc Zuckerberg’s Meta (previously Facebook) while some have seen it as a step towards a central bank digital currency.
Read more: U.S. Federal Reserve’s Real-Time Payments System Coming in July
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