Atlanta Fed sets up payment inclusion committee

Source: Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta announces the formation of a Special Committee on Payments Inclusion focused on finding solutions for cash-reliant individuals to become better connected to the economy, including to innovative financial services.

The committee, a public- and private-sector collaboration sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will work to advance ubiquitous access to safe, efficient, and inclusive payments for everyone. Payments innovations such as digital wallets, mobile payments, and person-to-person payment apps offer convenience to many consumers and businesses, but they also raise concerns about how to include populations already marginally attached to the economy.

This collaboration of payments and financial inclusion experts will conduct research on emerging issues in payments inclusion, collect and analyze data to better understand trends in the evolving payments ecosystem, and make recommendations to the industry and policymakers based on research findings.

"It is important to make sure that there is not just one path to financial inclusion. By focusing on payments inclusion, we hope to ensure that cash-based users and vulnerable populations are not further marginalized from innovative financial services," said Raphael Bostic, president of the Atlanta Fed and chair of the new committee. "By bringing together people from a diverse set of backgrounds and focusing them specifically on the issue of inclusion, we expect conversations unlike others that have touched on this subject."

The committee will be active for two years. At the end of this term, committee members and the Atlanta Fed will determine if there is additional work to pursue and may decide to extend the committee's work and chart a path forward for the collaboration.

Mary Kepler, Atlanta Fed senior vice president and chief risk officer, will serve as deputy chair of the committee. Other members of the Special Committee on Payments Inclusion include:

David Benck, senior vice president and general counsel, Hibbett Sports
Sudheer Chava, Alton M. Costley chair and professor of finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
Denise Dias, digital finance policy, regulation and supervision expert, CGAP-The World Bank-Toronto Centre
Andrea Donkor, vice president, regulatory relations, PayPal
Timothy Flacke, cofounder and executive director, Commonwealth
John Garratt, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Dollar General
Mark Pearce, director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Bruce Renard, executive director, The National ATM Council Inc.
Courtney Robinson, head of financial inclusion and public policy development, Square Inc.
Bob Skiba, executive vice president, InComm Payments
John M. Turner Jr., chief executive officer and president, Regions Bank
Silvanus J. Udoka, dean of the School of Business Administration, Clark Atlanta University
Robert Ward, senior vice president, Global Payments
Brian K. Williams, president, First Farmers and Merchants Bank in Columbia, Tennessee

Details and future work of the committee will be made available through the Promoting Safer Payments Innovations section of the Atlanta Fed website.

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