Payments Executives Gather for Secure Technology Alliance Payments Summit, US Payments Forum Member Meeting, ICMA EXPO in Orlando

Payments Executives Gather for Secure Technology Alliance Payments Summit, US Payments Forum Member Meeting, ICMA EXPO in Orlando

Princeton Junction, N.J., April 11, 2018 – The 11th annual Secure Technology Alliance Payments Summit took place last month, held jointly with the U.S. Payments Forum All-Member Meeting and the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) EXPO. The combined event brought in nearly 800 attendees for three days of informative educational sessions, effective networking meetings and productive industry council and working committee discussions on the leading topics impacting the payments market today and in the future.

A Look at Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow of Payments in the U.S.

Day one brought energetic crowds to the Payments Summit keynote and U.S. Payments Forum roundtable sessions. Discussions focused on the EMV chip migration in the U.S., and the present and future of payments beyond EMV, including mobile and digital eCommerce and the future of contactless.

Keynotes from three of the biggest names in payments, Discover, Google and Visa, got the conference underway: Discover addressed the value of building Discover’s digital payments network, Google laid out their strategy on the convergence of digital payments across all Google consumer platforms; and Visa shared positive news on the U.S. EMV migration and what is means for the expected future of contactless EMV and NFC payments.

Keynoter Stephanie Ericksen of Visa shared an encouraging report on the status of the migration, stating that 96 percent of Visa’s payment volume at the point-of-sale is using chip cards; 59 percent of U.S. point-of-sale locations accept chip, an impressive 578 percent growth since its October 2015 liability shift; and there has been a 70 percent decline in counterfeit card fraud for chip-enabled merchants.

A roundtable session of cross-industry stakeholders from the U.S. Payments Forum featuring representatives of the issuer, processor, card, terminal and technology provider groups focused on how the experiences and lessons learned from the migration to chip has led to rapid changes in other areas. Speakers included Karen Czack, American Express; Steven Cole, Vantiv; Nick Pisarev, G+D Mobile Security; Oliver Manahan, Infineon; and Allen Friedman, Ingenico. During the session, Czack shared that the transition forced the industry to focus on the customer experience, and Pisarev pointed to the U.S. Payments Forum as the source that brought all of the industry players together to make the transition successful.

A U.S. Payments Forum panel of retailers discussed the future of the chip migration for industry segments with special considerations, like pay-at-the-window and pay-at-the-pump. McDonald’s Jesse Pamperin spoke of the EMV acceptance issues for drive-thru merchants, and CITGO’s Kara Gunderson shared how inclement weather, heavy-traffic seasons and a limited number of certified technicians create unique challenges for implementing chip technology at the fuel pump.

Beyond EMV — What the Industry Sees as the Next Big Thing in Payments

While there is still work to be done in the U.S. migration to chip technology, many speakers pointed to the apparent next step following the transition – contactless payments.

Keynoter Jack Connors of Google was one of many to point to the integration of digital payments as a way to provide a high-quality customer experience, which Connors said ultimately leads to faster checkout, increased conversion and spend, and shopper acquisition with deeper engagement.

But even with the apparent benefits of contactless payments, Ericksen reported that still less than 1 percent of Visa’s transaction volume in the U.S. was through contactless payments as of January 2018. Speakers attribute today’s low contactless usage to lack of acceptance, lack of contactless card issuance and confusion around enablement at the point-of-sale. The future holds promise, however, since Erickson also reported that over 95 percent of terminals shipped are contactless-capable, 46 percent of Visa transactions in the U.S. occur at contactless-enabled terminals, and contactless has displaced cash transactions in international markets.

According to Andrew Patania of Elavon, adoption may be low today, but there is plenty of potential. Patania told attendees that a combination of factors will help to make contactless mainstream, including: transit, which will naturally spur growth in the contactless market; a concerted push by the industry to educate consumers on where it’s available and what it is; and a focus on finding new ways to use contactless to enhance the user experience.

Transit has often been considered a starting point for contactless acceptance in the U.S. based on experiences in other countries. Transit payments experts reported during Wednesday’s Transportation Payments track that mobile ticketing and mobile wallet usage is increasing and those countries that use contactless systems for mass transit have seen an uptick in mobile and contactless card usage once the consumer started using it for transit on a regular basis.

Authentication, Identity and Security in Payments

Speakers also highlighted the importance of securing the payments ecosystem through stronger authentication and identity verification.

Brett McDowell of the FIDO Alliance said that with 81 percent of data breaches in 2016 involving weak, default or stolen passwords, and 50 percent of fraud losses in the U.S. due to card-not-present (CNP) fraud, the payments industry needs a new model for authenticating transactions. To do this, McDowell outlined how the FIDO Alliance is working with EMVCo to use FIDO authenticators, in conjunction with EMVCo’s 3DSecure protocol, for securing CNP transactions in a manner that is both scalable and interoperable across the EMV payments ecosystem.

Fernando Ulbrich of IDEMIA also presented an out-of-the-box method to verify a cardholder’s identity and secure payments. Ulbrich pointed to payment cards with embedded biometric readers that take advantage of an experience many consumers are already familiar with – the fingerprint biometric. And Ulbrich wasn’t the only speaker to bring the future into today’s discussions. Other speakers talking in the Future of Payments Track looked at how trends like the Internet of Things, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, automotive payments and blockchain are having an impact on the future of payments.

With so much change and innovation impacting the payments industry, the Payments Summit has become the event payments stakeholders look forward to every year because it brings together like-minded individuals looking to find new ways to overcome challenges impacting the adoption, security and usability of emerging and developing payments technologies.

For continuing updates on the Secure Technology Alliance, visit and follow @SecureTechOrg on Twitter. For more information about the cross-industry U.S. Payments Forum and adoption of secure payments in the U.S., visit, follow @USPaymentsForum.

About the Secure Technology Alliance

The Secure Technology Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software across a variety of markets including authentication, commerce and Internet of Things (IoT).

The Secure Technology Alliance, formerly known as the Smart Card Alliance, invests heavily in education on the appropriate uses of secure technologies to enable privacy and data protection. The Secure Technology Alliance delivers on its mission through training, research, publications, industry outreach and open forums for end users and industry stakeholders in payments, mobile, healthcare, identity and access, transportation, and the IoT in the U.S. and Latin America.

For more information, please visit


Adrian Loth
Montner Tech PR
[email protected]