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Atlanta Fed Forms New Committee To Advance Safe, Efficient And Inclusive Payments

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has formed a new special committee to look into ways for those reliant on cash to become more integrated into a digital economy, a press release says.

“It is important to make sure that there is not just one path to financial inclusion. By focusing on payments inclusion, we hope to ensure that cash-based users and vulnerable populations are not further marginalized from innovative financial services,” said Raphael Bostic, president of the Atlanta Fed and chair of the new committee. “By bringing together people from a diverse set of backgrounds and focusing them specifically on the issue of inclusion, we expect conversations unlike others that have touched on this subject.”

The committee, according to the release, will be a collaboration between public and private sectors. It will be working to help along all-encompassing access to payments for everyone.

That will include a focus on things like digital wallets, mobile payments and person-to-person payment apps. Those types of services offer more convenience, although the release from the Atlanta Fed notes that there have been concerns raised in the past about how to include those who aren’t connected to banks or the larger economy.

The release says the Atlanta Fed’s committee will be conducting research into payments inclusion and will be collecting and analyzing data to help understand the issues better.

Then, the committee plans to make recommendations to policymakers. The committee will be active for two years and then will assess if there’s more work that needs to be done.

The issue of the unbanked and underbanked has been cropping up more, with those segments of the population seeing more difficulty than usual in the pandemic. That’s because the digital economy that has been rising up was not one that was friendly to those without ready access to a digital banking platform.

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