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Economic Perspectives, Vol. 35, 3rd, No. 3, 2011
Emergence of Immediate Funds Transfer as a General-Purpose Means of Payment

Immediate funds transfer (IFT) is a highly convenient, certain, secure, and economical means of payment using bank money. IFT is not available in the U.S. banking system, except for large-value business payments, interbank transfers, and specialized financial market transactions. This article examines the successful experience with IFT in Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK and concludes that payment system governance is the principal barrier to IFT innovation in the U.S.

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