To All Depository Institutions and Others Concerned in the Second Federal Reserve District:
Beginning in August, 2004, the Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) will be offering a new online service access method known as FedLine® Advantage. FedLine Advantage will extend the use of web technology to provide access to Fedwire® Funds Service, Fedwire Securities Service and FedACHsm Services, as well as other Reserve Bank financial services currently accessible via your FedLine Web connection.
Today, DOS-based FedLine customers use stand-alone computers equipped with encryption boards and FedLine software to initiate and complete certain transactional services provided by the Reserve Banks over dedicated communication lines. The FedLine Advantage access method allows customers to use their PCs to access a virtual private network (VPN) connected to Reserve Bank servers. The VPN utilizes Internet Protocol (IP) technology as the medium for transporting data to the Reserve Banks, employing encryption and other security mechanisms designed to: (1) limit access to Reserve Bank financial services to authorized users, and (2) prevent data from being intercepted and/or modified.
In connection with the offering of this new access method, changes have been made to four Federal Reserve Bank Operating Circulars (OCs). While certain minor, technical changes have been made in these operating circulars, the main substantive changes are summarized below.
Operating Circular 4, Automated Clearing House Items
- New paragraph 3.5 addresses the fact that a customer will
be able to transmit a file of ACH items to a Reserve Bank
server without actually releasing the file for processing.
- Paragraph 7.1 provides that an ACH file is delivered to
a customer when the Reserve Bank places an output file on
a Reserve Bank server and makes the file available for the
receiving bank to retrieve. This provision addresses a common
scenario in web-based file transmission, and allocates to
the receiving bank the responsibility to pick up ACH files
once the Reserve Bank has placed the files on a server from
which the receiving bank can obtain the files.
- Reserve Banks make certain new FedACH informational services
available to customers that use FedLine Advantage. The new
paragraph 20 is intended to distinguish the informational
services from the service of clearing and settling ACH items.
- Appendices A and A1 have been revised to incorporate the
FedLine Advantage additions to the Level One security procedures
available to customers that use FedACH. These changes are
reflected in Appendices A and A1.
- The definitions in OC 5 have been expanded to include
the VPN device and tokens as access control features, as
well as to reflect that code residing on Reserve Bank servers
constitutes licensed and protected “Software”
for purposes of the OC.
- Customers will be able to configure their systems so that
PCs through which they obtain FedLine Advantage access are
either set up to be "stand-alone" workstations
or are part of the DI's network, and will have various other
options regarding the configuration of their computer networks.
The new paragraph 1.4 and additions to paragraph 5.1 provide
that customers will have responsibility for complying with
the security measures required by the Reserve Banks, but
will also have responsibility for taking measures appropriate
for their circumstances and systems to prevent fraud, unauthorized
access or other unauthorized use of their electronic connection
to the Reserve Banks. Paragraph 5.5 requires customers to
keep their computer systems and software appropriately updated.
- Other changes to OC 5 address the fact that certain devices
used in connection with FedLine Advantage will be purchased
from third party commercial vendors.
- Users of the FedLine Advantage access method will need
"dual credentials" - User IDs and Passwords, plus
digital certificates loaded on tokens. The Certification
Practice Statement (CPS), which is incorporated into OC
5 by reference, has been revised to address the issuance
and use of token-based digital certificates.
- Appendix A, which sets out the security procedures for
accessing the Fedwire funds transfer network, has been revised
to include references to the specific security documentation
that is associated with the FedLine Advantage access method
and incorporated into the Fedwire security procedures.
- A new Appendix D, FedPayments Managersm for
the Fedwire Funds Service, has been added. The FedPayments
Manager for the Fedwire Funds Service is a web-based tool
that assists customers in preparing, verifying, correcting
and submitting payment orders to the Fedwire Funds Service
for processing. The FedPayments Manager tool also provides
information about incoming messages and has inquiry and
reporting capabilities. The FedPayments Manager tool is
accessible via a FedLine Advantage connection.
- A new Appendix E, FedPayments Manager for the Fedwire Securities Service, has been added. The FedPayments Manager for the Fedwire Securities Service is a web-based tool that assists customers in preparing, verifying, correcting and submitting securities transfer messages to the Fedwire Securities Service for processing. The FedPayments Manager tool also provides information about incoming messages and has inquiry and reporting capabilities. The FedPayments Manager tool is accessible via a FedLine Advantage connection.
All of these amendments (except for those made to the CPS which became effective on June 27, 2004) are effective on August 1, 2004, and your continued use of the applicable service on or after the effective date will constitute agreement to the new terms. Prior to using a FedLine Advantage connection for access to FedACH services and Fedwire Funds Services, your organization will need to execute and submit the new security procedure agreements referenced above for those services.
Please refer to the official versions of these amended Operating Circulars at the Federal Reserve Financial Services website. From this website, you may read, download, and print the OCs. To request a paper copy of one of these amended OCs, please call (816) 881-2541.
Stephanie A. Heller
Counsel and Vice President