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July 18, 2023

Pressley, Van Hollen, Warren, Lynch Reintroduce Bill to Provide Americans Immediate Access to Money in Their Bank Accounts

Bill Summary (PDF) | Bill Text (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), alongside U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Stephen Lynch (MA-08), reintroduced the Payments Modernization Act, legislation to make consumers’ funds deposited in their bank accounts immediately available for withdrawal. Right now, Americans lose billions of dollars each year in overdraft fees, driving consumers to turn to more costly financial products because of our inefficient payments system. By updating the Expedited Funds Availability Act and requiring financial institutions to recognize funds in real time, this bill will continue the progress on this issue that started with the implementation of FedNow – the Federal Reserve’s real time payments system – by further improving consumers’ access to their money.

“Workers in the Massachusetts 7th and beyond deserve to access their hard-earned money in real time, not wait days to have their paychecks cleared,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “As we continue working to lower costs for families and implement the Fed’s real-time payments system, Congress must pass our bill so everyone can feel this relief without delay.”

“In a time when you can move money with a simple click of a button, it makes no sense that it can still take days for deposited funds to show up in Americans’ bank accounts. Those delays come at a cost – often in excessive overdraft fees that rob hardworking Americans of billions of dollars annually. This bill will require banks to make cash deposits available immediately, so folks have access to their money in real-time, not on the banks’ time,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Workers shouldn’t have to wait up to five days for a paycheck to clear in order to make their rent, cover child care, or go to the grocery store,” said Senator Warren. “The Payments Modernization Act would ensure a national, real-time payments system so that working families can get their hard earned money immediately while avoiding costly overdraft fees.”

“This legislation is vitally needed to deliver the benefits of faster payments to most Americans. While technology has made everything move faster, banks and credit unions are still able to hold people’s money for days. Slow access to funds is a major driver of cost for Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Tens of billions each year are taken from working families in overdraft and late fees, by payday lenders and check cashers as Americans wait for access to their own money,” said Aaron Klein, Miriam K. Carliner Chair and Senior Fellow, Economic Studies at Brookings Institution.

Following Rep. Pressley and Sen. Van Hollen’s initial introduction of the Payments Modernization Act in July 2019, the Federal Reserve announced in August 2019 that it would move forward on setting up a real-time payments system. The lawmakers have since updated it following the Fed’s progress on developing its real time payments system, FedNow. The bill was reintroduced in September 2022.

Text of the bill is available here, and a summary can be found here.