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The Federal Reserve's role in retail payments: adapting to a new environment


  • Stuart E. Weiner


The U.S. retail payments system is in the midst of a transformation. The shift from paper to electronics, the emergence of new instruments and payments channels, the rise in nonbank participation, the change in risk profiles—all are elements of this new landscape. The Federal Reserve takes as one of its mandates fostering a payments system that is safe, efficient, and accessible. How does the Federal Reserve fulfill this mandate in this new environment? ; Since its beginning, the Federal Reserve has played a crucial role in the U.S. retail payments system. From time to time, that role has been reevaluated The current environment suggests the time may be right for another examination. Other central banks are facing similar issues. ; Weiner reexamines the Federal Reserve’s role in retail payments in light of the evolving payments system. The Federal Reserve will likely continue to play an important role in retail payments. However, given the evolution of the payments system, the role the Federal Reserve plays and the rationale for this role may be different than they have been in the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart E. Weiner, 2008. "The Federal Reserve's role in retail payments: adapting to a new environment," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 35-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2008:i:qiv:p:35-63:n:v.93no.4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary H. Stern, 2005. "Economic research and the role of the Federal Reserve in payments," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 2-6.
    2. Geoffrey R. Gerdes & Jack K. Walton, 2002. "The use of checks and other noncash payment instruments in the United States," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Aug, pages 360-374.
    3. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    4. Terri Bradford & Fumiko Hayashi, 2007. "Complex landscapes: mobile payments in Japan, South Korea, and the United States," Payments System Research Briefing, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep.
    5. Stacey L. Schreft, 2007. "Risks of identity theft: Can the market protect the payment system?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 5-40.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandrova-Kabadjova, Biliana & Negrín, José Luis, 2009. "What drives the network’s growth? An agent-based study of the payment card market," Working Paper Series 1143, European Central Bank.

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