In today’s innovative digital world, rapid technological advancement has touched almost every aspect of our daily lives – and payments are no exception. Consumers and organizations have a variety of options for making and receiving payments. While these payment types share the ultimate goal of transferring funds from payer to payee, the path those funds travel and the approaches employed for safely and securely completing transactions vary. The Secure Payments Task Force developed resources to help you better understand these payment types and support your organization’s payment security initiatives.

The Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles (Off-site) are educational materials that outline the lifecycles, security characteristics and relevant laws and regulations for eight of the most common payment types. The Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles provide perspectives related to:

  • The lifecycles of the most common payment types, covering enrollment, transaction flow and reconciliation
  • Security methods, identity management controls and sensitive data occurring at each step in the payment lifecycles
  • Relevant laws, regulations and other references as well as challenges and improvement opportunities related to each payment type
The task force brought together a diverse group of organizations that have many different capabilities and experience, all of which were critical to studying the entire payments ecosystem. The resulting profiles will be an incredibly valuable resource for merchants, financial institutions and other businesses to use in educating anyone in their companies who has a role in payments, whether in customer support, information technology or product development.
Reed Luhtanen Senior Director of Payments Strategy, Walmart
Secure Payments Task Force Co-chair

To hear more from Luhtanen, watch the video below.


The Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles can help further educate your organization about payment security by providing resources toward your payment solutions. From technology teams to sales and product development and everyone in between, the profiles provide information to equip your organization with the tools to recognize potential vulnerabilities in the payment flow and seek options to enhance payment security.

We believe the profiles are a valuable tool for all payments providers to assess where they can enhance their operations and improve overall payment security practices. Our hope is that this information can raise awareness and understanding of payments security and risk issues across the many types of organizations that have a hand in the payments system.
Christopher Danvers Vice President of Payments and Digital Services, American Airlines Federal Credit Union
Secure Payments Task Force Co-chair

The task force also published a catalog of payment-related Information Sharing Data Sources (Off-site) that can help enable the identification and reduction of payment system fraud in an effort to spur greater adoption and use by the industry. The list of data sources highlights broad-reaching intelligence reports, payments fraud trends, best practices and benchmarks and additional resources that can help your organization address payments fraud risk. For example:

  • Financial institutions can leverage timely and actionable reports highlighting payments fraud incidents and cybersecurity threats occurring across the payments industry
  • Merchants and other business end-users can leverage best practices and benchmarks to help protect them from data breaches and fraud attacks

Active from June 2015 through March 2018, in support of the Federal Reserve’s Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (Off-site), the task force engaged more than 200 financial institutions, consumer groups, payment service providers, financial technology firms, merchants, government agencies and others interested in payment security improvement efforts. In addition to advising the Faster Payments Task Force on security issues, the group focused its efforts on identifying the key challenges and opportunities related to improving payment security, including identity management, data protection and information-sharing to mitigate fraud.

Over the last three years, the task force completed a significant body of work to advance the safety, security and resiliency of the U.S. payment system. The task force concluded with the publication of the Payment Lifecycles and Security Profiles and transitioned to the FedPayments Improvement Community (Off-site) to continue engaging in the Federal Reserve’s ongoing payment improvement initiatives.

“The task force has been an important forum for bringing focus to our collective security dialogue, creating a foundation for ongoing collaboration on specific security topics,” said Ken Montgomery, the Federal Reserve’s payments security strategy leader and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “The security challenges facing the payments industry require broad cooperation and coordination across the payments ecosystem. Strong stakeholder collaboration is key to maintaining public confidence in the U.S. payment system and keeping pace with the rapidly evolving and expanding threat environment.”