FedNow Myths and Disinformation on Social Media
23 May 2023
What a load of Twitter!
I’ve written and spoken countless times about real-time payments over the last 15 years, with people from dozens of countries all around the world, many of whom are very different stages of their real-time journey. While two questions/statements come up in practically every conversation (how do I make money?; what about fraud?), I’ve heard many misunderstandings and poor assumptions over the years. I even wrote a report, Real-Time Payments: Dispelling the Myths, to address some of them.
Yet I have been truly taken aback by some of the misinformation circulating about the upcoming launch of FedNow. These have been so widely circulated on social media, that it spurred Associated Press to run the rumours through their fact check service. You can read the results here.
Spoiler alert – every rumour was complete and utter nonsense.
No, the Fed won’t be able to now seize bank accounts based on your political views.
No, the Fed won’t be able to control who and how much money you can send or invest.
And it certainly isn’t a secret (they obviously haven’t been to a US payments conference in the last 3 years!).
On one hand, to those in the know, it would be easy to label these as laughably stupid. Yet if nothing else, the last few years has taught us that misinformation like this can stick and grow. Given that real-time payments in the US are at nascent stage, and entirely optional, the industry needs to educate customers repeatedly, and allay any fears. Not everyone will believe the message, but if only one person does, then the effort has been worthwhile.