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During the course of the year, Payment Cards Center industry specialists organize a number of workshops on topics in consumer credit and payments. These internal workshops are most often led by invited presenters and follow a rather informal format. In some cases, the content discussed will lead to written discussion papers or future collaborations with the speaker; in other cases, the workshop will simply serve to educate the audience. Since its inception in 2000, the workshop series has grown to be a focal point for the center's research agenda. From January to October 2009, the Payment Cards Center hosted a record-breaking nine workshops, with two more currently in the planning stages. Highlighted here are some of the workshops hosted during 2009.1
Horacio Madinaveitia and Braddock Stevenson, FinCEN
James Locke, Jameson Troutman, and Krista Gallagher, JPMorgan Chase
Joseph Breeden, Strategic Analytics, Inc. (Jointly coordinated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Supervision, Regulation & Credit Department)
Jonathan Zinman, Dartmouth College, and Visiting Scholar, Payment Cards Center
Robert Carr, Heartland Payment Systems
Discussion papers for many of the 2009 workshops are still works in progress; other workshops have broadened our expertise on a particular topic.
One notable Payment Cards Center workshop from the past that relates to current regulatory activity is "Unlocking the Risk-Based Pricing Puzzle: Keys to Cutting Credit Card Costs." The workshop took place in June 2007. This workshop resulted not only in a discussion paper,3 but it also brought together two Federal Reserve entities: the Philadelphia Fed and the Board of Governors. Below is a summary of this workshop's discussion paper, which can be found on the center's website.
Summary: On June 29, 2007, the Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia sponsored a workshop led by Jeanne Hogarth, program manager, Consumer Education and Research Section, Division of Consumer and Community Development Studies and Education, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to discuss the Board's proposed changes to disclosure requirements for open-end credit, in particular, credit card billing statements and solicitation materials. Hogarth tied the proposed changes to her own research that identified certain behaviors most likely to affect the interest rates consumers pay for credit card borrowing. Given these research findings, Hogarth argued that having access to easily understood information about critical credit card terms and conditions can help consumers make more financially efficient decisions.
Check back at the center's events page4 for event postings and links to associated discussion papers.