“Operational error” disrupts the Federal Reserve’s payment system

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The Federal Reserve suffered a temporary outage in its interbank payments system on Wednesday, forcing it to seek restoration of operations in an important part of the US financial system.

Although the issues were fixed in a matter of hours, the glitch will raise concerns about the reliability of the processes that keep financial transactions of up to $ 4 trillion in daily transactions running smoothly.

The Fed issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon about the problems in their payment systems and attributed it to a bug with no further explanation. “An operational failure by the Federal Reserve has disrupted service in several areas of the business. We are restoring the services and communicating with all Federal Reserve Financial Services customers about the operational status. “

Fed staff began investigating issues with their payment systems shortly after learning about them around 11:15 a.m.

The outage affected Fedwire and other services like Automatic Clearinghouse, which serve as the piping of the US banking system, enabling seamless wire transfers, credit card payments, clearing of checks, and direct deposits of salaries to retirement benefits.

Shortly before 3 p.m., the systems went back into operation, according to the US Federal Reserve. However, the Fed was still telling customers that the backlog of transactions that had built up during the disruption period still needed time to clear.

“The Federal Reserve banks have taken steps to increase the resilience of the. . . Applications, including recovery to failure, ”the Fed told its customers around 3:15 pm. “Still, it is important that you reconcile the messages that you think you sent or received through the Services after waiting a few minutes for the backlog of messages to be processed before sending any more messages.”

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