Fed proposes running Fedwire Funds, NSS services 7 days a week

A 60-day request for public comments was issued Friday on a proposal to have the Federal Reserve Banks’ two large-value payment services, the Fedwire Funds Service and the National Settlement Service (NSS), operate seven days a week instead of the current five, and regardless of holidays.

The Federal Reserve Board said that given the potential burden of these changes when the industry is also adjusting to the new ISO 20022 message format for large value payments and instant payment services, the proposed, expanded operating hours for the two services would be implemented no sooner than two years after the migration of the Fedwire Funds Service to the ISO 20022 standard, scheduled for March 2025.

“The final implementation timeline for 22x7x365 will be determined based on input from this request for comment, among other relevant considerations,” it said.

The Fedwire Funds Service and the NSS currently operate Monday through Friday only and are closed on holidays. The Fed proposal would add Saturday and Sunday to the two services’ operating schedules but would leave daily operating hours unchanged: 22 hours a day, or 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Eastern, for Fedwire Funds and 21.5 hours, or 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Eastern, for the NSS (closing one half-hour ahead of Fedwire).

The Fed said it would be up to banks and credit unions whether to utilize the expanded operating days. It said the changes would not affect the Fedwire Securities Service (“for now”) or the Fed’s retail service for instant payments, FedNow.

The Fedwire Funds Service is a wholesale payment service that allows service participants to send and receive individual electronic funds transfers up to $10 billion. The NSS is a settlement service for participants in private-sector clearing arrangements, such as check clearinghouses, a private-sector automated clearinghouse network, and securities settlement systems.

According to the proposal summary, the Fed Board believes that expanding the availability of the Fedwire Funds Service and NSS would enhance the safety and efficiency of the U.S. payment system, extending the hours in which settlement in risk-free central bank money can occur. The Fed Banks’ previous outreach, addressed in the proposal, on such a change showed industry stakeholders involved in global payments systems to be particularly favorable to the idea.

The Fed Board is seeking comment on the potential benefits, risks, costs, and other considerations of expanded hours for the Fedwire Funds Service and NSS; and on implementation considerations.

Comments will be due 60 days after the proposal’s publication in the Federal Register.

Federal Reserve Board requests comment on proposal to expand the operating days of the Federal Reserve Banks’ two large-value payments services, Fedwire Funds Service and the National Settlement Service, to include weekends and holidays

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