Logo: 100 Years, Federal Reserve System
 
Why We Started
What We Do
Our Impact
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We Provide Payment Services to Banking Institutions

Collage of Consumer Payments: Paying Bills Online, Multiple Credit and Debit cards, Writing a Check and Receiving Money from an ATM

Cash Services: The Fed provides banks with currency and coin to meet public demand. We are also responsible for destroying currency that is no longer fit for circulation.

Electronic Payments: The Fed moves money electronically between banks. The Fedwire funds transfer system processes large payments almost instantly. ACH is used mostly for recurring payments like business payrolls and utility payments.

Check Processing: The Fed operates a nationwide check clearing system. Although banking institutions still send paper checks to us for processing, we now use mostly electronic images to exchange check data.

U.S. Fiscal Agent: The Fed acts as the fiscal agent for the U.S. government, which means we maintain the Treasury’s checking account and process electronic payments for the government, including Social Security.

Click the right arrow to learn more about the Fed's role in payments.

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