I ran across an interesting op-ed on upgrading the payments infrastructure, beginning with the following:
America’s outdated payment system exacerbates income inequality at a scale far larger than commonly understood. Our country can be divided roughly in half between those who live paycheck to paycheck and those who always have a cushion. The time between when you deposit your paycheck to when it is available costs the bottom half billions of dollars a year, while the top barely notice the delay. This is one of the many factors making it expensive to be poor—but it is easily fixed.
The solution folks are increasingly concluding might be necessary: a real-time payment system. For more, see here.