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Take On Payments, a blog sponsored by the Retail Payments Risk Forum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, is intended to foster dialogue on emerging risks in retail payment systems and enhance collaborative efforts to improve risk detection and mitigation. We encourage your active participation in Take on Payments and look forward to collaborating with you.

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December 21, 2015


Help Determine the Payment and Fraud Data You See Reported

Information is powerful and can help drive strategy and operational success. Help shape the information you have access to by improving on the survey instruments used in reporting 2015 payments and fraud data.

As has occurred every three years since 2001, the Federal Reserve System is again undertaking a triennial payments survey for noncash payments originated to or received from accounts based in the United States. At the core of this research, we will again be collecting data on the number and value of payments and associated fraud across a broad array of payment channels and applications. Summarized survey results will be shared broadly with survey respondents, the industry, and the public at the end of 2016. Detailed aggregated results are anticipated to be available sometime in the second quarter of 2017. As always, due to the confidential nature of the information being supplied, individual respondents’ data is used only to produce aggregate estimates.

In two previous blogs (here and here), I have documented the need for expanded fraud information for card payments. Stepping back from the specifics of card fraud, I would like to encourage readers to send comments on our prospective survey instruments that were recently posted in the Federal Register. A summary of our survey instruments compared to survey instruments used in the 2013 payments study is available here.

The upcoming study consists of three research efforts:

  • Depository and Financial Institutions Payments Survey (DFIPS)
    The prospective DFIPS survey (Federal Register Notice FR 3066a) is a national survey of institutions that offer transaction deposit accounts, prepaid card program accounts, and credit card accounts to consumers as well as business and government customers. Using a nationally representative stratified random sample of depository institutions, the survey gathers data about noncash payments, cash withdrawals, and deposits that post to customer accounts as well as third-party payment fraud that took place during 2015.

    The DFIPS includes questions on the following topics:
    • Check payments, deposits, and returns
    • ACH payments and returns
    • Wire transfers originated and received
    • General-purpose debit and prepaid cards
    • General-purpose credit cards
    • Cash withdrawals, deposits, and terminals
    • Alternative payment initiation methods
    • Unauthorized third-party payment fraud

  • Networks, Processors, and Issuers Payments Surveys (NPIPS)
    The prospective NPIPS survey set (Federal Register Notice FR 3066b) targets organizations that facilitate payments. The survey set actually contains 19 different surveys, each one tailored to a particular payment channel or respondent type. Respondents answer only the surveys that apply to their organizations.

    The NPIPS includes payment and fraud questions across the following classifications:
    • General-purpose/private-label credit cards
    • Debit cards
    • General-purpose/private-label prepaid cards
    • ATM cards
    • Various payment form factors such as chip, no chip, and mobile
    • Payment applications such as electronic benefit transfers, person-to-person payments, bill pay, transit payments, and more

  • Check Sample Survey (CSS)
    The CSS survey (Federal Register Notice FR 3066c) estimates the distribution of checks by categories such as payers, payees, and purposes. Survey data are based on a representative, random sample of checks written and processed by large commercial banks and, for the first time, may include additional checks processed by the Federal Reserve.

Please review these survey documents and provide your comments as to how they could be improved. You can make submittals through the Federal Register by clicking here. Comments are due by January 25, 2016.

By Steven Cordray, payments risk expert in the Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Atlanta Fed

December 21, 2015 in payments study | Permalink

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