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11 Jan

Deepa Bhargava

Search Consultant

This post originally appeared on Deluxe by Glen Sarvady


Perhaps some of you are familiar with the Slow Food movement — a group that promotes local, wholesome food and “the pleasures of the table” as a counterbalance to fast food culture. The analogy is far from perfect, but I was reminded of this cause recently while listening to updates on the Fed’s Faster Payments initiative. The notion of faster (or even real-time) payments has plenty of appeal and some obvious use cases. However, the audience for this particular readout was a group of Risk/Fraud professionals, the Debbie Downers of any payments party (and I mean that in the best possible way…). These experts voiced valid concerns given recent breach incidents, leading to precisely the type of constructive dialogue the Fed is looking to engage.

Most of these comments are nicely encapsulated in a Consideration Brief prepared by Early Warning Systems in conjunction with several financial institutions. A key takeaway is that “a near time or real time enhanced payment system may also introduce new vulnerabilities that fraudsters and criminals may exploit.”

The intent of the letter is not intended to throw cold water on the enhanced payments effort, but rather to highlight the fraud and risk requirements that must be addressed in such a system.

EW Faster Payment Systems

Early Warning points out that similar vulnerabilities emerged when the UK introduced its faster payments protocols. One key recommendation is that “(insert entire paragraph at top of p.2, which begins “Any proposed new payment system will need to provide insight…)” Early Warning also draws attention to implications for FIs’ Know Your Customer (KYC), Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance obligations. This will require sufficient screening time to ensure the senders and recipients are legally able to send and receive funds.



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