Effectiveness Criteria

To support the development and submission of faster payments solution proposals, the task force created the Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria as a guideline for effective faster payments solution design.

The Effectiveness Criteria identify desired attributes of faster payments solutions across six categories: Ubiquity, Efficiency, Safety and Security, Speed, Legal, and Governance. Within these categories, the task force created a total of 36 criteria, including definitions and an effectiveness scale for achieving the desired outcome of each criterion.

The criteria’s development involved a collaborative and iterative process with the task force as well as engagement and survey input from the broader payments community. To achieve consensus, the criteria were finalized through several face-to-face task force meetings; the formation of a legal work group within the task force to finalize legal criteria; and collaboration with the Secure Payments Task Force on safety and security criteria. Task force participants commented on multiple versions of the criteria, fine-tuning details and language before arriving at a final version that would serve as the foundation for assessing proposals. The process resulted in a 97% consent rate.

Solution proposals are not judged against each other; rather, each proposal is assessed independently against each criterion. The Effectiveness Criteria are not intended as a set of minimum or maximum requirements for faster payments solutions. Instead, they serve as a guide to assess and differentiate the effectiveness of each solution proposal across many dimensions. There may be tradeoffs or interrelationships between one or more criteria. For example, one might believe that the criterion on usability has tradeoffs with the criterion on security controls. When evaluating a solution against usability, however, the assessment will consider only the usability of that solution, regardless of whether an element of inconvenience in the solution design is tolerable because it increases security. In addition, solution proposals may contain design elements or other features that exceed those described in the criteria.

In addition to serving as a benchmark for the task force’s assessment of faster payments solution proposals, the Effectiveness Criteria are intended to provide guidance to the wider payments community and payment system developers on the desired attributes of future payment systems.

The Effectiveness Criteria categories and names are listed below.

  • U.1 Accessibility
  • U.2 Usability
  • U.3 Predictability
  • U.4 Contextual Data capability
  • U.5 Cross-border functionality
  • U.6 Applicability to multiple use cases

  • E.1 Enables competition
  • E.2 Capability to enable value-added services
  • E.3 Implementation timeline
  • E.4 Payment format standards
  • E.5 Comprehensiveness
  • E.6 Scalability and adaptability
  • E.7 Exceptions and investigations process

  • S.1 Risk management
  • S.2 Payer Authorization
  • S.3 Payment Finality
  • S.4 Settlement approach
  • S.5 Handling disputed payments
  • S.6 Fraud information sharing
  • S.7 Security controls
  • S.8 Resiliency
  • S.9 End-User Data protection
  • S.10 End-User/Provider Authentication
  • S.11 Participation requirements

  • F.1 Fast Approval
  • F.2 Fast Clearing
  • F.3 Fast Availability of Good Funds to Payee
  • F.4 Fast Settlement among Depository Institutions and Regulated Non-bank Account Providers
  • F.5 Prompt visibility of payment status

  • L.1 Legal Framework
  • L.2 Payment System Rules
  • L.3 Consumer protections
  • L.4 Data privacy
  • L.5 Intellectual property

  • G.1 Effective governance
  • G.2 Inclusive governance

In parallel with the Effectiveness Criteria, the Federal Reserve, the Faster Payments Task Force and the Secure Payments Task Force collaborated on a Glossary of Task Force Terms to establish common definitions and terminology for key concepts related to the payment ecosystem and faster payments solution proposals.

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