Within the Fedline Solutions catalog, there are four different products that are offered, and while no clients should ever require all four, there may be occasions where more than one product is necessary for payment processing. For each of the products, there are preset guidelines, which can be very similar but do differ.
The four products are:
- This top-of-the-line IP-based product enables real-time transactions through direct access to integral payment services
- Specialized for clients requiring a highly secure interface for high-volume transactions through FedWire Funds, FedWire Securities, FedACH
- Includes the use of the messaging component FedLine Direct Message as well as the file transfer segment, FedLine Direct File
- A more economical solution that provides access to a shortlist of payment services such as FedACH and FedWire, with the additional optional use of Accounting and Billing
- Flexible and convenient web-based access with layered hardware and software security features, customized internal access, and integration features to send and receive ACH files, wires, billing statements, and process adjustments.
- Access to integral Fedline services such as:
- FedACH Service
- FedWire Funds Service
- Fedwire Securities Service
- National Settlement Service
- Cost-effective. web-based solution that provides information services such as transactional reports, statements, and alerts. FedLine Web offers limited financial transactional services.
- FedACH Information
- FedCash Services
- Accounting and Billing information
What Has Been Updated Within the FedLine Framework?
Since the inception of the Assurance Program, the Federal Reserve has required organizations engaging in federal contracts to become compliant with the outlined Federal Reserve Banks Security Requirements. The main objectives of the Assurance Program are to increase trust in security protocols, reduce the event of fraud, lower risk, and assess and improve controls and organizational resiliency.
In an effort to keep security as a central focus and to accommodate the rapidly evolving technology and the cybersecurity risks that accompany this growth, the Federal Reserve announced recent updates to the security controls, addressing the topics detailed in Table 1.0
|Security Control Topics updated in the last year|
|PC and Operation System Controls||Server and Middleware Controls|
|Device Controls||Network Controls|
Any organizations using any of the FedLine Solutions products are subject to the guidelines of the Fedline Assurance Program. The mandated security measures can be found in the Operating Circular 5 (OC5), which detail search practice, specific to Electronic Access, Certification Practice Statement, and Password Practice Statement. The Assurance program recognizes an annual initiative of compliance certification for participating entities, operating on the calendar year with a closing date of December 31st.
Operating Circular 5 (OC 5)
OC 5 includes the terms under which an institution may access certain services and applications provided by a Federal Reserve Bank and under which an institution may send certain data to or receive certain data from a Federal Reserve Bank, in each case, by means of an electronic connection.
- Electronic Access (PDF) effective 06/30/21
- Certification Practice Statement – The Certification Practice Statement describes the policies and practices of the Federal Reserve Banks’ public key infrastructure with respect to the issuance, management, and usage of digital certificates and sets forth the obligations of certificate users. The Federal Reserve Banks now use two Certification Authorities to issue digital certificates relating to FedLine® access solutions and each Certification Authority has its own Certification Practice Statement. For additional information regarding the Certification Authorities, and to determine which Certification Practice Statement applies to particular FedLine® access services for your institution, please review the Certification Practice Statement Fact Sheet (PDF).
- Certification Practice Statement—Federal Reserve Banks’ Certification Authority (PDF) effective 07/08/14
- Certification Practice Statement of the Federal Reserve Banks’ Services Public Key Infrastructure (PDF) effective 06/30/21
- Password Practice Statement (PDF) effective 01/20/05 – The Password Practice Statement describes the policies and practices of the Federal Reserve Banks with respect to Federal Reserve Bank-issued passwords used to access Federal Reserve Bank business applications.
The Assurance Program requires:
- An attestation of completion of a self-assessment to the Federal Reserve Banks. In some cases, the attestation must be conducted or reviewed by a third party if required by the Federal Reserve Banks
- Implement Risk Management strategies
- An attestation that any identified gaps have been recognized and a remediation plan is in progress to address these items.
- The completion of the attestation letter is due by December 31st
FedLine Versus SWIFT – How do they Differ?
Fedline and SWIFT are two important but very different programs that assist in transactional security and successful integration between the federal government and contracted service providers
SWIFT operates primarily as a messaging service, transmitting payment orders and instructions through a messaging system. The program is recognized globally and assigned a Business Identifier Code (BIC) which is used to identify and engage with financial institutions. With the SWIFT services, no actual money transfer is completed, but the mandatory security measures are communicated through the system.
Fedline Solutions serves as the domestic pipeline which provides the instructions and access to the Federal Reserve Bank, making it possible to process high-volume, computer-to-computer financial transactions where actual funds can be requested and received.
How Can Elevate Assist?
Elevate’s team of professional consultants are prepared and ready to assist your organization in the necessary FedLine Controls assessment to ensure the utmost confidence for your firm when submitting the certification to the Federal Reserve Bank.
With our proven approach and execution, we can take the heavy lifting out of the FedLine attestation and certification process. During the assessment process Elevate will:
- Identify company contact points and associated roles
- Analyze and understand the company environment
- Analyze controls by collecting evidence through documentation and interviews
- Identify gaps and provide remediation advice
- Prepare a preliminary report for management review and apply feedback
- Deliver final report/attestation letter
If your firm is considering renewing or preparing the first-time attestation to participate in the FedLine Solutions program, please don’t hesitate to place your trust in Elevate to fully prepare your corporation in a seamless fashion.