Secure Payments Task Force Publishes Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles

March 16, 2018

Members of the Secure Payments Task Force, which was established by the Federal Reserve in 2015, today published Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles (Off-site), educational materials outlining the lifecycles, security characteristics and relevant laws and regulations for the most common payment types.

Developed through the collaborative efforts of task force participants with diverse payments background and security expertise, the Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles provide perspectives related to:

  • The lifecycles of the most common payment types, covering enrollment, transaction flow and reconciliation;
  • Security methods, identity management controls and sensitive data occurring at each step in the payment lifecycles;
  • Relevant laws and regulations, and other references, as well as challenges and improvement opportunities related to each payment type.

“We believe the profiles are a valuable tool for all payments providers to assess where they can enhance their operations and improve overall payment security practices,” said Christopher Danvers, vice president of payments and digital services for American Airlines Federal Credit Union, who co-chaired the work group responsible for the profiles. “Our hope is that this information can raise awareness and understanding of payments security and risk issues across the many types of organizations that have a hand in the payments system,” Danvers remarked.

“The task force brought together a diverse group of organizations that have many different capabilities and experience, all of which were critical to studying the entire payments ecosystem,” said Reed Luhtanen, senior director of payments strategy at Walmart, who co-chaired the group with Danvers. “The resulting profiles will be an incredibly valuable resource for merchants, financial institutions and other businesses to use in educating anyone in their companies who has a role in payments, whether in customer support, information technology or product development.”

Established in June 2015 in support of the Federal Reserve’s Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System, the task force has engaged more than 200 financial institutions, consumer groups, payment service providers, financial technology firms, merchants, government agencies, and others interested in payment security improvement efforts. In addition to advising the Faster Payments Task Force on security issues, the group has focused its efforts on identifying the key challenges and opportunities related to improving payment security including identity management, data protection and information-sharing to mitigate fraud. In November 2017, the task force published a catalog of payment-related Information Sharing Data Sources (Off-site) that can help enable the identification and reduction of payment system fraud in an effort to spur greater adoption and use by the industry.

“The task force has been an important forum for bringing focus to our collective security dialogue, creating a foundation for ongoing collaboration on specific security topics,” said Ken Montgomery, the Federal Reserve’s payments security strategy leader and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “The security challenges facing the payments industry require broad cooperation and coordination across the payments ecosystem. Strong stakeholder collaboration is key to maintaining public confidence in the U.S. payment system and keeping pace with the rapidly evolving and expanding threat environment.”

Over the last three years, the task force has completed a significant body of work to advance the safety, security and resiliency of the U.S. payment system. The task force will conclude with the publication of the Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles and transition to the FedPayments Improvement Community to continue engaging in the Federal Reserve’s ongoing payment improvement initiatives.