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Understanding risk management in emerging retail payments

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  • Michele Braun
  • James McAndrews
  • William Roberds
  • Richard Sullivan

Abstract

New technologies used in payment methods can reduce risk, but they can also lead to new risks. Emerging retail payments are prone to operational and fraud risks, especially security breaches and potential use in illicit transactions. This article describes an economic framework for understanding risk control in retail payments. Risk control is a special type of good because it can protect one payment participant without diminishing the protection of other participants. As a result, the authors' economic framework emphasizes risk containment, primarily through the establishment and enforcement of risk management policies. Application of the framework to three types of emerging payments suggests that a payments system can successfully manage risk if it quickly recognizes problems, encourages commitment from all participants to control risk, and uses an appropriate mix of market and public policy mechanisms to align risk management incentives. The authors conclude that providers of emerging payment methods must mitigate risk effectively or face rejection in the payment market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its journal Economic Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): Sep ()
Pages: 137-159

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2008:i:sep:p:137-159:n:v.14no.2

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Related research

Keywords: Payment systems ; Risk management ; Retail trade;

References

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  1. Kahn, Charles M. & Roberds, William, 2008. "Credit and identity theft," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 251-264, March.
  2. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
  3. Kenneth N. Kuttner & James J. McAndrews, 2001. "Personal on-line payments," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 35-50.
  4. James C. McGrath, 2007. "General-use prepaid cards: the path to gaining mainstream acceptance," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Benjamin Hermalin & Michael Katz, 2006. "Privacy, property rights and efficiency: The economics of privacy as secrecy," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 209-239, September.
  6. Richard J. Sullivan, 2007. "Risk management and nonbank participation in the U.S. retail payments system," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-40.
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Cited by:
  1. William Roberds & Stacey L. Schreft, 2009. "Data security, privacy, and identity theft: The economics behind the policy debates," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 22-30.

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