Retailers and ATM networks launch coalition to promote card payment security

BY Marianne Wilson

Retailers and financial service companies have joined together to help guide the nation toward a faster and more secure payments system.

The National Retail Federation, other retail groups and two of the nation’s best-known ATM networks have formed a new coalition, called Secure Payments Partnership, designed to improve the security of the U.S. electronic payments system ranging from credit and debit cards to emerging technology.

“The payments system has to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and the needs of consumers and commerce,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Stephanie Martz said. “The U.S. payments infrastructure should be the strongest, most innovative and most secure in the world, but we won’t get there unless we change the way we make security decisions.”

Initial members of the new coalition include NRF, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers Association, First Data’s Star Network and the Shazam network. The coalition marks the first time that companies from the financial services industry have joined retailers’ efforts to improve payments security.

According to NRF, the United States currently lags behind the rest of the world in card payment security, largely because Visa and MasterCard control security standards without sufficient input from competing card networks, merchants, consumers and financial institutions. NRF and SPP believe all parties involved in the payments system must work together to achieve successful payment security, increase transparency and limit fraud.

The group will emphasize several priority areas, including stronger user authentication, open standards setting, payment security innovation and network routing competition. The coalition will also focus on consumer expectations for security, convenience and flexibility in payment options, especially as technology evolves.

In recent years, many new technologies have been introduced to increase security including mobile payments, biometrics (such as fingerprints, facial recognition and iris scanning), the use of artificial intelligence, geolocation and IP verification.



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