Retailers Form Payment Security Coalition

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Retailers Form Payment Security Coalition

Retailers Form Payments Security Coalition FMI NGA ATM Networks
Retailer trade associations, including FMI and the NGA, have joined forces with two ATM networks to create the Secure Payments Partnership

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the National Grocers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the National Retail Federation (NRF) have teamed with two of the United States’ best-known ATM networks, First Data’s Star Network and Shazam, to form a coalition with the aim of enhancing the security of the U.S. electronic payment system, which encompasses everything from credit and debit cards to emerging technology.

The Secure Payments Partnership (SSP) marks the first time that companies from the financial services industry have joined retailers’ efforts to improve payment security. 

In a blog post, Hannah Walker, senior director, technology and nutrition policy at Arlington, Va.-based FMI, wrote: “With the launch of the SPP, the real work begins. The SPP is committed to engaging with all stakeholders to find real solutions utilizing the strongest and most state-of-the-art technologies to tackle fraud head-on. As a founding member of the SPP, FMI will continue to engage with our retail members to leverage their insights and expertise as we develop and advocate for strong policies to strengthen our payments system."

“We are pleased to be a founding partner of the SPP and join other retail and payments industry leaders to advocate for a more collaborative, transparent and secure payments system, noted Greg Ferrara, EVP of advocacy, public relations and membership at Arlington-based NGA, which represents the independent grocery sector. "Independent grocers share in a bond of trust with their customers, and it is imperative for them to provide their customers with a secure and seamless payment experience, especially as new technologies emerge in the space.”

“The payments system has to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and the needs of consumers and commerce,” said Stephanie Martz, SVP and general counsel at Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “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.”

The United States is currently behind the rest of the world in card payment security, which retail trade groups attribute to the fact that credit-card giants Visa and MasterCard control security standards without enough input from competing card networks, merchants, consumers and financial institutions. SPP believes that all parties involved in the payments system need to collaborate to beef up payment security, boost transparency and curtail fraud.

The group will emphasize several priority areas, among them stronger user authentication, open standards setting, payment security innovation and network routing competition. SSP will also concentrate on consumer expectations for security, convenience and flexibility in payment options, particularly as technology evolves.