The Payment Cards Center co-hosted a forum with the Electronic Funds Transfer Association's (EFTA) eCommerce Payments Council. The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to explore e-commerce payment products and issues. The event combined Federal Reserve and industry perspectives on a variety of current issues, including check electronification at the point of sale and the implications for mobile commerce transactions.
The Philadelphia Fed's Research Department sponsored a conference on retail credit risk management and measurement. The conference topic acknowledges important developments in retail credit markets and, in turn, the retail credit portfolios of financial institutions. Recent changes in the regulatory landscape and the introduction of the Basel II Accord have underscored the importance of risk management and measurement systems used by financial institutions. Selected papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Banking and Finance.
The financial privacy debate is particularly relevant to the information-intensive credit card industry. Recent work by academic researchers and legal scholars has helped to better frame many of the underlying principles. Policy debate at both the federal and state levels has added new information and better-defined positions. Of course, the experiences of industry participants and consumers have provided practical clarification on a number of implementation issues for privacy rules. At the same time, the upcoming sunset of the 1996 FCRA preemption amendment has heightened debate and introduced new legislative dynamics that seem certain to result in some change to the status quo.
The days of "cash-and-carry" are long gone, and consumers find themselves with an ever-increasing array of payment options. Many of these new developments emanate from networks and payment processors working together with merchant and banking partners. This event included participants from the industry, representatives from merchants' organizations, and Federal Reserve payment professionals. The discussions especially benefited from the merchants' perspectives on the need for alignment among all payment participants in the quest for productive innovation.