The Federal Reserve is poised to launch its FedNow real-time payments service as early as tomorrow. After nearly four years of development, this initiative will establish the regulator’s first nationwide network for instant payments, a feature already present in other countries and a major U.S. processor.

Although the Fed has not officially announced the specific date for the launch, the word on the street is that it is likely to occur very soon. Steve Mott, a principal at payments consultancy BetterBuyDesign and a keen observer of real-time payments, anticipates the launch to be imminent, possibly within this week.

FedNow’s entrance into the market will bring about both competition and potential connectivity with other existing faster-payment systems, such as The Clearing House Payments Co. LLC’s Real Time Payments service, which has been operational since 2017 and has continuously expanded its reach to various financial institutions and payment volumes. This strategic move by the Federal Reserve is a culmination of significant efforts to prepare financial-service providers since the announcement of building a real-time payment system back in 2019. Furthermore, top officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland have indicated that FedNow’s course will likely involve diverting time-sensitive volume to the new platform, particularly in peer-to-peer payments.

As the launch date draws near, the industry eagerly awaits the impact and potential transformations that FedNow will bring to the world of faster payments.