Payments Security

The payment system faces dynamic, persistent and rapidly escalating threats, and stakeholders are increasingly aware of the need to enhance payment security. Through the Payments Security Landscape Study (PDF), the Federal Reserve identified that payment stakeholders are:

  • Placing high priority on improving authentication of transactions, parties and equipment in the payment process and actively pursuing ways to protect sensitive information and limit its use and availability;
  • Seeking to share fraud and cyber threat information and analyze data to mitigate the adverse impact of threats to payment system security; and
  • Increasing the focus on and priority of security, making additional resources available to strengthen it.

Despite this increased focus, important challenges remain, including the time to develop security standards, inconsistent adoption of security improvements, and barriers to sharing fraud and threat information among stakeholders. The Federal Reserve will increase its focus on advancing U.S. payment safety, resiliency and security in a variety of ways.  As highlighted in the he Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF), published in January 2015, the Federal Reserve will execute the following strategies:

  • Establish the Secure Payments Task Force to:
    • Provide advice on payment security matters;
    • Coordinate with the faster payments task force to identify solutions for any new or modified payments infrastructure so that it is both fast and secure; and
    • Determine areas of focus and priorities for future action to advance payment system safety, security and resiliency.
  • The Federal Reserve will support the evolution and adoption of appropriate payment security standards.
  • In its role as a provider of payment services, the Federal Reserve intends to expand its suite of anti-fraud and risk-management services, and continue to enhance its own payment networks to support the safety, security and resiliency of the U.S. payment system.
  • The Federal Reserve will explore potential improvements to its publicly available payment fraud data, conduct payment security research to inform industry and policy decisions, and share results with payment stakeholders.

In addition to the strategies described above, the Federal Reserve will explore enhanced collaboration opportunities with government and industry partners to share threat information, enhance cyber threat protections and support payment system resiliency.

Learn more about the Secure Payments Task Force.