Welcome to this edition of Update, a periodic publication of the Payment Cards Center highlighting recent activities. Also available on our website, Update complements the more complete content at www.philadelphiafed.org/payment-cardscenter/publications/.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the new director of the center and thank all of our readers for their interest and support during my tenure. As many of you know, I came to the Philadelphia Fed some eight years ago to establish a research initiative focused on consumer credit and payments. It has been an exciting and personally rewarding time for me, and I am grateful for the support from center and Bank staff as well as from you, our partners from industry, academia, and the policy community. As I look back, I think we can be collectively pleased that we contributed to a greater understanding of central business issues and helped to inform relevant policy. With the center reaching a certain maturity and gaining in influence, I am ready to move on to new challenges.
I move forward confident that we have a strong team in place and new leadership that will not only ensure that there is continuity in the center's activities but also add new and relevant perspectives. I am very pleased that Bob Hunt has agreed to become the center's director. Bob brings with him an accomplished background in research in many of the areas important to the center. A more comprehensive description of his background and interests follows this introduction. I would only note that I have had the pleasure of working closely with Bob since the center's inception and have every confidence that he will serve your interests well and elevate our agenda to new levels.
This issue of Update also features brief summaries of several recent papers authored by center analysts as well as a summary of last year's payment card fraud conference. Complete versions of these documents are available on our website. As an aside, I would encourage you to visit the site, which has recently undergone a substantive redesign and upgrade. Let us know what you think.
The several documents reviewed later in Update reflect the continuation of various research themes within the center. Both Philip Keitel's paper, "The Laws, Regulations, Guidelines, and Industry Practices That Protect Consumers Who Use Gift Cards," and Ann Kjos's paper, "New Prospects for Payment Card Application in Health Care," extend the center's examination of the emerging market for prepaid card payments. Both papers have been well received and cited in various trade publications. The second paper of Philip's reviewed in this issue, "Legislative Responses to Data Breaches and Information Security Failures," and Susan Herbst- Murphy's summary of our conference on "Maintaining a Safe Environment for Payment Cards: Examining Evolving Threats Posed by Fraud," reflect the center's continued focus on the issues of fraud, identity theft, and other threats to the safety and integrity of our modern electronic payment systems.
As always, we invite your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on how we might increase the effectiveness of our efforts.