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Taylor Havlisch

February 16th, 2017

3min Read

A Progress Report from the Federal Reserve Secure Payments Task Force

“In pursuit of a better payment system.”

Late last year, the Federal Reserve’s Secure Payments Task Force sought the input of leading individuals and companies in the payment industry, as part of their 2-year-old plan to further advance payment security and reduce payment fraud.

Our Chief Security Officer, Rush Taggart, shared his thoughts with the Task Force via responses to a public survey, inviting feedback to proposed steps for improving payment security. His responses were shared in a previous post to our blog, in case you missed it.

The Secure Payments Task Force has made some good headway as their 2015 plan unfolds. How do we know? They’ve made public a progress report of the work done to date, broken down by strategy:

STRATEGY 1: STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

To actively engage the payments community for collaboration toward payment security, the Task Force conducted 500 presentations at conferences, encouraging groups to join the conversation. The result has been strong engagement among its online community of 4,000 members and when it came to the results of the aforementioned survey, 75% of respondents agreed with their proposed solutions for improving security. As they look forward, the Secure Payments Task Force will host educational webinars and continue to have a presence at important events within the community.

STRATEGY 2: FASTER PAYMENTS

A counterpart of the Secure Payments Task Force, the Faster Payments Task Force, has been charged with identifying effective solutions for implementing fast payments without sacrificing security. Since their formation in 2015, they've received 22 proposals for faster payments solutions from Task Force participants.

STRATEGY 3: PAYMENT SECURITY

The Secure Payments Task Force has been working to review those proposals submitted by their sister agency. They’ve also been mapping out payment type lifecycles in order to identify fragile areas that could be vulnerable to fraud. Several resources and guidelines have been developed for industry participants to use when forming security action plans to protect those vulnerabilities.

STRATEGY 4: PAYMENT EFFICIENCY

To enhance payment efficiency within the industry, an updated volume of the Small Business Payments Toolkit was released and promoted by the Secure Payments Task force and downloaded 17,000 times. The group has also been spending time with several industry groups, including The Clearing House, to further the development on raising awareness on things like current ACH tools in the marketplace.

STRATEGY 5: ENHANCED FEDERAL RESERVE SERVICES

With the goal to improve payment speed, the Secure Payments Task Force enhanced tools like the FedPayments Reporter Service, which enables financial institutions to automatically search ACH files for valuable information. Reports have been added to the tool that allow financial institutions greater access to data which can improve efficiency.

As the Federal Reserve Secure Payments Task Force works to fulfill a plan to improve the way we process and protect payments as an industry, we appreciate the transparency of the group’s progress. We’ll continue to be a part of the conversation on advancing payment security and if you too are interested in joining the FedPayments Improvement Community, just visit FedPaymentsImprovement.org.

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