In September, the 20th annual Chicago Payments Symposium attracted a global audience of industry and thought leaders for open dialogue about the current and future state of the payments ecosystem, ways the industry can more effectively be Collaborating Around the Core and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over two action-packed days, the virtual event featured several insights, including:

  • Forethought pays off: “Although it is safe to say no one anticipated an event quite like the pandemic, the industry’s forethought, investment and preparation to ensure that the payments system would be resilient to extreme scenarios has paid off greatly,” said keynote speaker Loretta Mester, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and chair of the Fed’s Financial Services Policy Committee, which oversees its payments activities. “It has allowed us to avoid a collapse of the payments system – an event that would have made what was already a grave situation much, much worse.”
  • Adoption of instant payments is growing globally: Panelists agreed instant payments adoption is on the rise worldwide, although instant payments offerings and usage rates vary by region and country. Adoption has benefited from introduction of new content, services, standards and monetization opportunities.
  • The FedNowSM Service is coming: FedNow program executive Ken Montgomery said the pandemic has not affected the Federal Reserve’s ability to achieve phased development milestones as it works to deliver a FedNow Service that will meet the industry’s needs to facilitate nationwide reach of instant payments.
  • Payments security must remain a top priority: The pandemic has caused the industry to place greater focus on payments security, said Admiral Mike Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency and former commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. Bad actors include nation-states and crime rings that exploit vulnerabilities in the payments infrastructure, human behavior and remote access partners. Fortunately, artificial intelligence and machine learning are just two of the promising approaches to combat fraud, and the FraudClassifierSM model (Off-site) is a new tool to help classify it.

Action Item:

Visit the Chicago Payments Symposium 2020 agenda (Off-site) to learn more – and check out the 20th anniversary symposium video (Off-site) to get a sense of the excitement about this event over the years.