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Update Newsletter: Summer 2008

Maintaining a Safe Environment for Payment Cards: Examining Evolving Threats Posed by Fraud

On April 23 and 24, 2008, the Payment Cards Center co-hosted a conference with the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA). Entitled "Maintaining a Safe Environment for Payment Cards: Examining Evolving Threats Posed by Fraud," the conference was designed to extend the discussion that began at a September 2006 conference, "Information Security, Data Breaches, and Protecting Cardholder Information: Facing Up to the Challenges."* Over the two days, representatives from industry, government, and academia gathered to discuss payment card fraud from the perspective of issuers, acquirers, networks, and consumers.

Charles I. Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, provided welcoming remarks to conference attendees on Thursday morning. Plosser emphasized that staying ahead of fraud threats is imperative to maintaining the public's confidence in the payments system, a particular concern of the Federal Reserve. While acknowledging that preventing fraud is difficult, he also emphasized the need for collaboration, since no single participant in the payment system can provide comprehensive solutions. Therefore, he urged conference participants to consider the perspectives and roles to be played by issuers, acquirers, networks, and consumers.

The conference promoted a lively discussion among participants and panelists. While all agreed that there is no panacea for fraud, the participants engaged in interesting discussions of alternative approaches to combating payment fraud, with a somewhat surprising emphasis on the use of chip and PIN authentication techniques.

The full program agenda, including the list of speakers and panelists, is available on the center's website. A complete summary of the conference will be posted on the center's website in the coming months.

Shown above are the panelists for the conference’s consumer perspective panel (left to right): Bob Shiflet, Bank of America; Betsy Broder, Federal Trade Commission; and Tony Spinelli, Equifax. Panel moderator Ed Wargo, Javelin Strategy & Research, is shown at right.Shown above are the panelists for the conference's consumer perspective panel (left to right): Bob Shiflet, Bank of America; Betsy Broder, Federal Trade Commission; and Tony Spinelli, Equifax. Panel moderator Ed Wargo, Javelin Strategy & Research, is shown at right.