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Federal Reserve leads US payments industry NFC initiative

The US Federal Reserve has been acting as the host for a series of meetings between US mobile network operators, banks and payments networks over the course of the last few months, Digital Transactions reports.

“The Atlanta Fed and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston have so far hosted three low-profile meetings of roughly 20 representatives from a wide array of concerned parties, with the first convening in January and followed by sessions in May and again this month,” says Richard Oliver, executive vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. “A fourth is set for October.”

A white paper which can be used to further stimulate discussions is now to be produced, says Digital Transactions:

The group, whose disagreements over a wide range of business and technical matters have hobbled the development of critical mobile-payment technologies such as near-field communication (NFC), now plan to collaborate on a document that can be presented at conferences and otherwise circulated in the financial and telecom industries.

Oliver says the aim is to use the paper as a “stalking horse” to stimulate discussion and get comments from a wider range of mobile-payments participants. “We need to broaden the scope of organizations and people” involved in discussing mobile payments, he says. No timetable has been set for the paper’s release, though Oliver says he hopes it can come out by year’s end.

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