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Keeping the bad guys out, risk management and retail payment innovation


  • Braun, Michele

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Roberds, William

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

  • Sullivan, Richard

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)


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, risk containment is critical, primarily through the establishment and enforcement of risk management policies. Informal case studies of several recent 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. Providers of emerging payment methods must mitigate risk effectively or face rejection in the payment market.

Suggested Citation

  • Braun, Michele & Roberds, William & Sullivan, Richard, 2008. "Keeping the bad guys out, risk management and retail payment innovation," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 24, pages 175-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jofitr:0827

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2006. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1159-1192, September.
    2. Martin S. Feldstein, 2007. "Housing, Credit Markets and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 13471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Eugene N. White, 2004. "Bubbles and Busts: The 1990s in the Mirror of the 1920s," FRU Working Papers 2004/09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Finance Research Unit.
    4. Kevin J. Lansing, 2007. "Asset price bubbles," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue oct26.
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    More about this item


    retail; payment; innovation; risk; management; economic; framework;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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