By Susan Doyle, AAP, President & CEO, EPCOR
Center for Payments Leadership Committee


In the race to implement faster payments, a steady stream of emerging payment options, rules, regulations, and risk have the payments industry teetering on the verge of a new horizon.  To aid payment systems participants and help inform decisions, ten independently run Payments Associations founded The Center for Payments™ in 2019 with a mission to advance the payments industry as a united voice through market intelligence and thought leadership.

The Center for Payments represents over 10,000 financial institution members, businesses, and stakeholders. The founding Payments Associations are uniquely positioned to propel the industry forward through the development of thought leadership and market intelligence that can be used by all members, especially small and mid-sized financial institutions that may not have access to these types of resources.

Through my previous experience leading an electronic payments product management and development team at a large financial institution; as President and CEO at EPCOR; and in my role with the Faster Payments Council, I have witnessed the value of Payments Association membership from many angles. With over forty years’ experience educating and advocating in the financial services industry, Payments Associations are well versed in the challenges financial institutions of all sizes and other participants face in implementing payment industry changes. Harnessing this power to provide actionable data collaboratively through the Center for Payments adds incredible value for all Payments Associations members.

In May of 2019, The Center for Payments announced the results of its first nationwide survey that focused on the current and future payments environment in the United States and examined payments strategy, as well as plans and interest in adopting new technologies such as faster payment solutions. Over 700 financial institutions and Third-Party Senders participated in the study. The complete findings and resulting whitepaper, Readiness for Faster Payments in the U.S., provided comprehensive insights and benchmarking data exclusively to members of the participating Payments Associations. Notable highlights from this study can be found at centerforpayments.org.

Continuing our mission to provide actionable insights, The Center for Payments has just launched its second nationwide market study of financial institutions, “Digitizing Payments: The Online Account Opening Experience.” These survey results will facilitate secure payment systems modernization by providing financial institutions actionable data for decision-making and managing operational risk. The results are also anticipated to help financial institutions prepare for future wide-scale threats to the U.S. financial payment systems. 

In addition to market intelligence, The Center for Payments actively engages with industry partners and rule-making organizations, such as ECCHO, The Clearing House, the Federal Reserve Financial Services, Nacha, The Faster Payments Council, and others. These partnerships ensure all stakeholders are informed of payments changes and develop the participating associations’ staff to ensure that these associations maintain their reputation as experts across existing and emerging payment systems.

Looking forward, as the payments industry continues to face unprecedented change, The Center for Payments recognizes a time of great opportunity for financial institutions, businesses, and payments industry stakeholders. It is committed to delivering intelligence to help organizations evaluate opportunities and effectively manage change. 

In the words of Laura Steele, the current Chair of the Center for Payments, “We are witnessing rapid changes in the payments landscape, and financial institutions need actionable insights to inform important strategic decisions. Harnessing the experience and reach of ten Payments Associations, the Center for Payments can leverage a wealth of rich, current data not readily available elsewhere. All organizations belonging to a Payments Association will benefit from the Center for Payments’ joint initiatives.”

To learn more about The Center for Payments and the participating Payments Associations, visit centerforpayments.org. Please contact us at info@centerforpayments.org, follow us on Twitter (@Center4Payments), and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/center4payments).

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