Reed Luhtanen & Gail Hillebrand

Reed Luhtanen & Gail Hillebrand

In the 4th episode of the month we featured two top-notch experts discussing one of the main drivers for financial inclusion: faster payments. With me today are Faster Payments Council Executive Director Reed Luhtanen and National Consumers League Representative Gail Hilebrand have much to say about financial inclusion and so much more!

Coming to us with more than 40 years of combined experience in the payments industry, Reed himself was a part of the Federal Reserve task force payments initiative to create an overall governance framework for the transition to faster payments in the United States. From this, the Faster Payments Council was founded in 2018. Their goal? To bring about inclusive governance framework to help advance ubiquitous, safe, and easy-to-use faster payments. Gail, on the other hand, has spent the majority of her time in consumer advocacy and helped push the initiative for the National Consumers League – a working group that has made it their mission to protect U.S. consumers since 1899 with a focus on safety in the marketplace.

The two of them agree that financial inclusion and faster payments overlap in that faster payments can be a pathway to greater financial inclusion by removing risk and adding certainty to the transaction. As part of this podcast, we talk in depth about a recent white paper launched to the marketplace that gives recommendations on the topic of financial inclusion as it relates to faster payments. The paper identifies eight specific barriers to financial inclusion, three of which we discuss in detail on this podcast: trust, design and fraud.

Tune in this week to hear Reed and Gail discuss the 7.1 million Americans who currently don’t have bank accounts, the 50%+ of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and the most prominent recommendations to address three of the main barriers to financial accessibility.

The Faster Payments Council has created multiple resources pertaining to financial inclusion including the following:


U.S. Faster Payments Council Logo