New Coalition Promotes Card-Payment Security

Retailers and payment processors join to make credit and debit use more secure and convenient

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Retail and payments industry leaders have formed the Secure Payments Partnership (SPP) in an effort to promote security across the payment system.

SPP marks the first time these interests representing diverse parts of the payments system have joined forces to address the ongoing battle against payment fraud and devise improvements for the U.S. card payment system, according to proponents of the group.

NACS is a founding member of SPP along with the Food Marketing Institute, National Retail Federation, National Grocers Association, First Data’s Star Network and Shazam, a payments-processing company.

SPP was formed to anticipate new and better technologies for making payments that are secure and fast. As it currently stands, the United States lags behind the rest of the world in card-payment security. A survey from the Aite Group and ACI Worldwide showed that 42% of U.S. cardholders—including debit, credit and prepaid cards—have experienced card fraud, compared with 27% of cardholders globally.

“As a founding member of the new Secure Payments Partnership, we are optimistic about how this unique collaboration of debit networks, payments processors and retailers can work together to strengthen the security of the U.S. payments system,” said Anna Ready, NACS director of government relations. “NACS believes that by working together we can address the structural problems in the current system and ensure everyone with a stake in payments has a voice in shaping the standards that impact each of us.”

The partnership also will focus on meeting consumer expectations for security, convenience and flexibility in payment options, especially as new technologies evolve and emerge.

“The payments system has to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and the needs of consumers and commerce,” said Stephanie Martz, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation. “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.”

In recent years, new technologies have been introduced to increase security, including mobile and wearable payments, biometrics (such as fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scanning and vein mapping), the use of artificial intelligence, geolocation, IP verification, blockchain and ultrasonic sound waves. SPP looks to harness these technologies to benefit all users.

The group, based in Washington, D.C., will emphasize several priority areas, including stronger user authentication, open-standard setting and adoption, payment-security innovation and network-routing competition.

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