Cash & Payment Systems

As the United States’ central bank, the Federal Reserve System fosters payment and settlement safety and efficiency that facilitate U.S. dollar transactions and payments. To keep cash, check, and electronic transactions moving reliably through the U.S. economy for consumers, businesses, and other economic participants, the Federal Reserve performs several key functions. These include providing services to depository institutions and the U.S. federal government; regulating certain aspects of the payment system and supervising certain financial market utilities; providing intraday liquidity to payment system participants; and analyzing the system to identify improvements.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is responsible for developing regulations and supervisory policies for elements of the payment system that fall within the Federal Reserve’s jurisdiction. The SF Fed and 11 other Reserve Banks complement this by supervising entities under the Federal Reserve’s jurisdiction pursuant to these regulations and policies. The Reserve Banks provide accounts and payment services to depository institutions, the federal government, and other entities such as government-sponsored enterprises and international organizations, subject to oversight by the Board. The Reserve Banks also provide intraday and overnight credit. Finally, both the Board and the Reserve Banks engage in payment system research and act as catalysts to improve the safety and efficiency of the payment system.

This page features a collection of content on the payment system, cash operations, and FedNow.


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