In September 2013, the FED solicited comments on their "Payment System Improvement - Public Consultation Paper". Over the past year, they've completed several research activities to help identify potential strategies to improve the U.S. payment system.
One of these efforts explored faster payments. Speed is an important dimension of payments. However, there is much work to be done because today's core payment system infrastructure does not enable ubiquitous, faster electronic solutions for end users to make real-time payments from any bank account to any other bank account.
Several design options were evaluated against their ability to address unmet needs for speed in the following use cases:
B2B ad-hoc low value (just in time supplier payments)
B2P ad-hoc high value (insurance claims, legal settlement)
P2P transfers (reimburse a friend)
B2P ad-hoc low value (temporary employee wages)
P2B ad-hoc remote (emergency bill pay)
The Fed's Faster Payments Assessment Summary suggests that building new infrastructure is the optimal solution.