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The Office of Legislative
and Public Affairs

Fact Sheets

Payment Management

Payment Management is part of the Financial Management Service (FMS), a bureau of the Department of the Treasury. The Payment Management organization manages and operates federal payment systems and disburses approximately 85 percent of all federal payments. Payment Managements' headquarters in Washington, DC, oversees three Regional Financial Centers (RFCs) located in Kansas City, MO; Philadelphia, PA; and San Francisco, CA. Each RFC works closely with regional offices of major client agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Internal Revenue Service, to help administer FMS programs nationwide.

  • Payment Management Washington Office staff coordinates with other organizations within FMS, other federal agencies, and the financial community.

  • The Washington Office staff and the RFCs jointly develop, market, and promote federal payment system improvements.

  • The RFCs provide disbursing services for more than 400 disbursing points throughout the United States and its overseas territories, and related services to more than 1,600 other organizations.

  • The RFCs disbursed, by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or check, more than 999 million payments in fiscal year 2008, totaling more than $1.8 trillion.

  • Federal payments FMS disburses include: Social Security benefits; Supplemental Security Income; federal pension benefits; veterans' compensation, pension, and education benefits; Railroad Retirement pensions; tax refunds; and other federal disbursements such as salary and vendor payments.

  • Payment Management issues payments for virtually every federal agency in the Executive Branch except for the Department of Defense and certain independent agencies, such as the U.S. Postal Service.

  • The RFCs perform other payment-related services including the complete handling of EFT claims, processing of all trace and reclamation actions for EFT payments, cancellation of returned checks, and making any related adjustment in agencies' accounts.

  • Payment Management reconciles all U.S. Treasury checks (over 206 million in fiscal year 2008), resolves claims for and against the federal government that arise as a result of lost, stolen, or unauthorized negotiation of U.S. Treasury checks, collects funds from financial institutions that have cashed unauthorized negotiated U.S. Treasury checks, and provides document fraud protection, specifically to help FMS protect the integrity of the U.S. Treasury check.

  • Payment Management assures that FMS maintains optimum levels of efficiency, integrity, and quality in all payment-related functions.

  • Although payment processing is Payment Management's primary focus, its responsibilities include many other duties that relate to FMS' mission, including:

    • Promoting and implementing new and improved EFT payment systems using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Fedwire;

    • Supporting the developmental and marketing efforts of other FMS areas to automate, upgrade and modernize systems;

    • Implementing systems and programming changes to maintain state-of-the-art technology in computer hardware, software, peripherals, and production equipment; and

    • Assisting in the development of debt management operational services for federal program agencies.

  • Payment Management is also responsible for such major initiatives as:

    • Secure Payment System: SPS is an application that provides a mechanism by which Federal Program Agencies can create payment schedules in a secure fashion, and with a strictly enforced separation of duties;

    • PrinCE (Print Check Enclose) Project): Installation of combined electronic check and document printing systems at each Regional Financial Center. The PrinCE Team is presently leading the CWS (Check Wrapper System) replacement project;

    • Treasury Check Information System (TCIS): TCIS provides FMS with an electronic office environment for check aftermath activities and it manages payment data representing over two billion check payments and three million claims;

    • Payment Application Modernization (PAM): PAM is FMS' effort to modernize the current mainframe-based software applications (replacing over 30 COBOL and Assembler applications) that are used to disburse approximately one billion federal payments worth over $1.5 trillion annually;

    • Automated Standard Application for Payments: ASAP is an electronic payment and information system developed by FMS and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The ASAP System allows organizations receiving federal funds to draw from accounts pre-authorized by federal agencies and held by the U.S. Treasury; and the

    • Direct Express Card: The Direct Express Card is a Master Card branded debit card being initially piloted to Social Security check recipients. The card allows Social Security check recipients to receive payments electronically by direct deposit. The Direct Express debit card will be expanded nationwide in 2008.

    For further information contact the Financial Management Service, Payment Management, 401 14th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20227, (202) 874-6790; or one of the RFCs:

Kansas City Financial Center (816) 414-2000
Philadelphia Financial Center (215) 516-8000
San Francisco Financial Center (415) 594-7100
   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014