March 18, 2019, 1 p.m. EST
March 18, 2019 – The Federal Reserve today announced the members of its Fraud Definitions Work Group (Off-site), the latest initiative to advance the Federal Reserve’s strategy for improving the U.S. payment system. Over the next year, these 23 payments industry leaders and subject matter specialists will work collaboratively with Federal Reserve leaders to formulate recommendations for improving the quality and consistency of automated clearing house (ACH), wire, and check fraud data. Although noncash payments fraud remains a very small fraction of total payments value, it is a large number in absolute terms – approximately $8.3 billion in 2015. This, combined with the growth of real-time payments, underscores the need to better understand payment confidentiality, integrity, and security threats.
“The Fraud Definitions Work Group is another step in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to promote the safety, security and integrity of the U.S. payment system through collaboration with the payments industry,” said David Sapenaro, Federal Reserve System payments strategy director and chief operating officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“Understanding payments fraud trends can help us mitigate fraud risk,” said Ken Montgomery, Federal Reserve System payments security strategy leader and chief operating officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “However, there often are inconsistencies in the classification and reporting of payments fraud data from study to study and a significant lag between the time that fraud occurs and when it’s reported. In addition, fraudsters continually adapt their attacks as the use of ACH, wire, and checks for innovative faster payments evolves.”
In January, the Federal Reserve outlined the expertise needed to serve on the work group and asked payments experts to submit “expressions of interest.” The Federal Reserve selected work group participants from these submissions and appointed some additional Federal Reserve and industry participants to ensure diversity of thought and strong expertise across the many needed disciplines.
The Fraud Definitions Work Group seeks to build a recommended payments fraud classification model that includes detailed definitions and/or categories to help the industry better understand key data points and address ACH, wire, and check payments fraud. Work will begin later this month to examine existing payments fraud definitions and areas where new or changed definitions could be helpful. The work group also will create a roadmap to encourage broad industry adoption of this classification model to improve the consistency and timeliness of available payments fraud data.
Members of the Fraud Definitions Work Group are:
The Federal Reserve also has established the Fraud Definitions Community Interest Group for individuals who are interested in providing input and following the efforts of the work group. Visit FedPaymentsImprovement.org (Off-site) to sign up for this community interest group and learn more about how to contribute to the fraud definitions work.
As the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve System provides payment services and seeks to foster the stability, integrity and efficiency of the nation’s monetary, financial and payment systems. In 2013, the Federal Reserve initiated a broadly collaborative effort to achieve ubiquitous, nationwide access to safe and efficient faster payments in the United States. As a leader and catalyst for change in the U.S. payment system, the Federal Reserve now collaborates with industry stakeholders to advance five desired outcomes outlined in the 2015 Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (Off-site, PDF) paper: speed, security, efficiency, international payments and collaboration. For more information, visit FedPaymentsImprovement.org (Off-site).