The Federal Reserve’s system that facilitates the movement of money between financial institutions electronically went down on Wednesday, but seemed to be come back later in the day.
In what the Fed has described as an “operational error,” multiple services were affected, including the important automated clearinghouse, which allows for sending electronic transfers.
There were no reports that foul play was involved.
Other than the Fed ACH service, the systems that were affected included FedCash, Fedwire, Check 21, and the national settlement service.
A message from the central bank stated it discovered the problem around 11:15 a.m. ET. An official at one Wall Street bank reported the ACH system and Fedwire appeared to be operational again at 2:45 p.m. ET.
“Fedwire Securities Service, Fedwire Funds Service, and National Settlement Service have come back online,” the Fed declared around this same time.
The outage has occurred the same week that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell talked to Capitol Hill lawmakers about the success they have made on their payments system and goals to create a “digital dollar.”
Powell claimed this would be “a vital year” for the program.
“It will be a year in which we interact with the public very actively,” Powell said during the committee hearing.
The Fed has been creating a digital payments system for years that would help people have wider access to payments systems.
Powell did not provide details but said the Fed might need some authorization to continue with its plans.
“We might well need legislative approval for such a plan,” he said.
Outages, particularly with an important system like the ACH system, have wide-ranging affects. The system handles direct deposits of weekly payrolls across the nation, income tax refunds as well as Social Security payments.