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Secure Payments Partnership formed by leading retail associations

Goal of new organization is to harness technology to promote security across the payments system

A group of retail and payments industry leaders — including the Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association — today announced the formation of the Secure Payments Partnership (SPP), a partnership created to promote security across the payments system.

According to the new organization, 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.

In addition to FMI and NGA, founding members include the National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores, First Data’s STAR Network and SHAZAM.

“Payment security and the threats to it are only becoming more complex,” said Hugh Gallagher, First Data SVP and head of STAR Network. “No single industry has all the answers to get us to where we need to be. We must work collaboratively with input from all parties with a stake in the outcome, in order to improve payment security and limit fraud.”

According to The Nilson Report, while the United States accounted for almost 24% of total global purchase volume in 2016, it bore over 39% of global fraud — or $9 billion of the total $22.8 billion in fraud. 

“This drag on our economy hurts U.S. customers and businesses and makes us less competitive globally,” noted Hannah Walker, senior director, Technology and Nutrition Policy at FMI. “On its current trajectory U.S. payment fraud is expected to reach a whopping $14.41 billion by 2025, and as a country we are lagging behind our competitors.” With those stark figures in mind, SPP was designed to advance sound policies that drive state-of-the-art technologies, competition and collaboration “to ensure the U.S. payments system becomes the global gold standard.”

In recent years, a multitude of new technologies has 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, ultrasonic soundwaves and others. One of the stated goals of SPP is to harness these technologies to benefit all users.

The group 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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