More than ever before, the U.S. payments system has multiple moving parts, each striving for maximum efficiency and market share. Along with endeavoring to ensure the security of payments, facilitating faster payments continues to be a major goal. The automated clearing house (ACH) network, created in the 1970s as a semi-electronic alternative to check payments, is fully electronic now, but has lagged behind in transaction settlement speed. In 2016, however, the ACH made strides by embarking upon a transition to same-day settlement. This issue's lead article details recent progress made toward faster payments and what the ramifications are likely to be.
Technology is at the heart of payments, and one of our contributing writers focuses on fintech, naming several developments in 2016 that are likely to influence our sector in 2017 and beyond. The new U.S. presidential administration's appearance on this list won't come as a surprise, but others making the cut, such as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, might provide food for thought.
Additional contributions from industry experts offer an expanded view of equipment leasing's place in the industry, that is, if you think beyond POS terminals and stake a claim in capital equipment leasing; what to keep in mind from a legal perspective in today's entirely electronic world, where "secret" and "off the record" may no longer apply; and the importance of not leapfrogging over important steps when developing new products and services.
In keeping with our commitment to support the organizations that offer resources to the industry's feet on the street, the news section presents highlights from the Northeast Acquirers Association's 2017 meeting, as well as significant points covered in the PCI Security Standards Council's new ecommerce guidelines. Also in the news is coverage of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's prepaid regulations and efforts in Congress to derail them, as well as a look at the Arby's breach disclosed Feb. 9. For additional news stories posted online, see the Breaking Industry News section of our homepage, www.greensheet.com.
Don't forget to check out the news briefs in Industry Update, as well as the profiles, new product stories and other department features. Remember, we welcome press releases about your company and career milestones, post them under News From the Wire on our home page, and draw from them as sources for stories and briefs. So keep your news coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also send your feedback to email@example.com.
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