The Payment Cards Center provides meaningful insights into developments in consumer credit and payments that are of interest not only to the Federal Reserve but also to the industry, other businesses, academia, policymakers, and the public at large. The center carries out its work through an agenda of research and analysis as well as forums and conferences that encourage dialogue incorporating industry, academic, and public-sector perspectives.
For information on all research on consumer credit and payments, go to our Program in Consumer Credit & Payments page.
The Payment Cards Center and the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are co-organizing their seventh biennial conference focusing on new research in consumer credit and payments. Paper submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2013.
This paper features information from a Payment Cards Center workshop facilitated by commercial payments expert Frank Martien of First Annapolis Consulting. Combining lessons from that event with findings from other sources, including the Survey of Consumer Finances, the author presents some insights into the current environment for small business payments. Among the highlights are a pre- and post-recession comparison of balance sheets for households headed by business owners and some early indicators of the impact the Durbin amendment may have on trends in the use of small business debit cards. The paper also puts forth the rationale that the combination of the credit card billing cycle and the externalities of the general-purpose credit card network meets the cash flow needs of small enterprises in a way that may explain why credit card use is so prevalent in the small business segment.
The authors informally interviewed a number of market participants and several experts to better understand the risks presented by data breaches, the efforts to protect payment card systems against data breaches, and areas where more might be done to secure these systems. In particular, the authors investigated whether existing levels of investment, coordination, information sharing, and management of incentives in securing payment card systems by firms and organizations in the private and public sectors are adequate to confront the threats arising from modern data breaches. The lessons learned from these conversations are described in this paper.