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Sept 15 -- The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invites comment on a proposal to extend for three years, without revision, the Payments Research Survey (FR 3067). Comments must be submitted on or before November 14, 2022.

The Board uses this collection to obtain information, as needed, on specific and time-sensitive issues, related to payments research. Respondents may comprise depository institutions, financial and nonfinancial businesses, for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, federal, state, and local governments, individual consumers, or households. The Board may conduct various surveys under this collection, as needed, all of which would be voluntary. The frequency and content of the questions depend on changing economic, regulatory, supervisory, or legislative developments.    

The Board oversees the Federal Reserve Banks’ provision of financial services to depository institutions and fiscal agency services to the Treasury and other government agencies; develops policies and regulations to foster the efficiency and integrity of the U.S. payments system; works with other federal agencies on payments issues of joint responsibility; works with other central banks and international organizations to collect information on and improve the payment, clearing, and settlement system more broadly; and conducts research on payments issues. The Federal Reserve System has a long history of conducting surveys, including surveys of depository institutions, financial and nonfinancial businesses and related entities, individual consumers, and households. Often, the surveys have provided the only reliable source of data for the subject covered by the surveys. Although these surveys have been driven by specific needs of the Board, when published, their aggregated findings have also been used extensively by researchers outside the Board and have been widely cited by the media.
 
Several functional areas of the Board occasionally need to gather data on a timely basis from the public on their payment habits, economic condition, and financial relationships, as well as their attitudes, perceptions, and expectations. The Board may have a particular need for data during times of critical economic or regulatory change, or when issues of immediate concern arise from Federal Reserve System committee initiatives and working groups or from Congress. Completion of the full information collection approval process for a new survey under such circumstances can pose a serious obstacle to collecting and processing data that are both accurate and timely. Therefore, the Board will continue the Payments Research Survey to allow for the timely collection of ad hoc data in such situations without the delay associated with the regular approval process.

The scope of the FR 3067 is intended to provide the Board with the ability to respond promptly to data collection needs related to its supervisory, regulatory, fiscal, and operational responsibilities, as well as to support its payments research.

Since its creation, the Board has used the FR 3067 multiple times. For example, in 2014, the Board conducted research to understand how consumers authenticate the $100 Federal Reserve note. In 2018, the Board used the FR 3067 to conduct a collaborative research project among four central banks focused on assessing user perception of genuine and counterfeit banknotes and to assess how to increase recirculation of pennies. In 2021, the Board used the FR 3067 in conjunction with the FR 3066 Federal Reserve Payments Study (OMB No. 7100-0351) to collect additional information related to the COVID-19 situation. That information was used as input for a report showing how the use of payments changed as the pandemic unfolded throughout 2020.
 
The FR 3067 is a series of surveys used to conduct research related to the Federal Reserve System’s role in the payments system, including supervisory, regulatory, fiscal, or operational responsibilities. The survey topics are time-sensitive and the questions of interest vary with the focus of the survey. Because the relevant questions may change with each survey, there is no fixed reporting form. For each survey, the Board prepares questions of specific topical interest and then determines the relevant target group to contact. Examples of topics that could be covered by the FR 3067 in the future may vary and include:

• general payments research,
• wholesale payments research,
• research related to clearing and settling transactions,
• retail payments research,
• payment card networks research, and
• currency and coin research.

The FR 3067 may be implemented through interviewer-mediated, face-to-face, or telephone interviews; self-administered surveys using paper questionnaires, the telephone, or the Internet; focus group discussions; cognitive interviews; or other formats. The size of the samples and the length of the data collection period may vary depending on the particular informational needs. Written qualitative questions or questionnaires may include categorical questions, yes-no questions, ordinal questions, and open-ended questions. Written quantitative surveys may include dollar amounts, percentages, numbers of items, interest rates, and other such information. These data will only be collected if the request is time-sensitive or adequate data of this sort is not available from any other source. These quantitative surveys would be used to enable the Board to collect a limited amount of data from a defined set of participants in the event of an immediate and critical need for specific information. These surveys would be used for data that are not collected on any other reporting form or on the same frequency as other substantively similar data. Less structured information collection studies, such as focus groups or cognitive interviews, may use a set of qualitative and quantitative questions as a guide but could allow a more extended discussion of the topic to evolve.

The Board uses the information obtained through the FR 3067 to discharge its statutory responsibilities, including those under the following statutes:

• Section 609 of the Expedited Funds Availability Act; 
• Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; 
• Sections 904 and 920 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act; 
• Section 7 of the Bank Service Company Act; 
• Section 15 of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act; and
• Sections 2A, 11, 11A, 13, and 16 of the Federal Reserve Act.

The FR 3067 surveys are voluntary. Individual respondents may request confidential treatment in accordance with the Board's Rules Regarding Availability of Information. Requests for confidential treatment of information are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. To the extent information provided on the FR 3067 is nonpublic commercial or financial information, which is both customarily and actually treated as private by the respondent, the information may be protected from disclosure pursuant to exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act.
 
FRB Payment Systems: https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems.htm
FR3067 draft supporting statement: https://www.federalreserve.gov/reportforms/formsreview/FR%203067%20OMB%20SS%202022.pdf
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-19999

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