Most of the 450 bankers, consumers, technology experts, retailers, and academics interviewed by the Federal Reserve Board want the central bank to remain active in the retail payment system, according a report released Tuesday.
The experts said the Fed should continue operating check processing and automated clearing house systems, although a few large banks urged the government to exit this business.
Those surveyed also urged the Fed to improve the efficiency of existing check processing operations and to advocate the adoption of more high-tech systems.
The report was prepared as part of the Fed's review of its role in the payment system. Fed Vice Chairman Alice M. Rivlin, who is spearheading the review, unveiled many of these findings during testimony before a House Banking subcommittee last month. The Fed is expected to complete its review by year's end.