Retail and payments industry leaders have joined together in the Secure Payments Partnership (SPP), an advocacy group focused on promoting security across the U.S. payments system. This partnership, announced yesterday, is unprecedented in that retailers are collaborating with debit networks and payments processors to help address some of the structural issues with credit card payments.
SPP founding members include NACS, Food Marketing Institute, National Retail Federation, National Grocers Association, First Data’s STAR Network and SHAZAM.
“As one of the founding members of the SPP, NACS is optimistic about how this unique collaboration of debit networks, payments processors, and retailers can work together to strengthen the U.S. payments system,” stated Anna Ready, Director of Government Relations for NACS.
SPP was formed to anticipate new and better technologies for making payments that are secure and fast. Specifically, SPP will work to give all members of the payments ecosystem a voice in setting security standards. Under the current standards processes, security changes such as requiring EMV chip technology were implemented without a decision-making role for debit networks, processors, technology companies, merchants, consumers, and even banks. Without these perspectives, the standards were not as effective as they should have been.
“The problem is that groups like PCI and EMVCo have advisory committees where merchants can state their views. That’s not an effective substitute for having an opportunity to make decisions and being part of the decision-making process. Our view is everybody ought to be part of that process,” stated Doug Kantor, partner at Steptoe & Johnson and counsel to NACS.
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, SVP and General Counsel of 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 addition to payment security innovation and open standard-setting, the group will emphasize stronger user authentication and network routing competition.