For immediate release: May 6, 2008

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta today announced the implementation of the Retail Payments Risk Forum. The forum will work with financial institutions and industry participants, regulators and law enforcement officials to research issues and sponsor dialogue to help promote the mitigation of risks in retail payments, with an initial focus on check and automated clearinghouse transactions.

"Payment systems continue to evolve as new technologies and methods are developed. While new advances in payments can bring greater efficiencies, they also can be accompanied by new forms of payments risk," said Richard Oliver, executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and manager of the Federal Reserve Banks' Retail Payments Office. "To address that challenge, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has established the Retail Payments Risk Forum." Clifford S. Stanford will serve as the forum's director and will report to Oliver.

The Forum will be a Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta initiative and will focus on three primary areas. One emphasis of the Forum involves educating a variety of audiences about risk and fraud in retail payments. A second focus is analyzing issues and proposing potential solutions through widely disseminated research on topics of concern to the industry as well as sharing appropriate analysis among regulators and law enforcement to help enable them to detect and mitigate risk. A third emphasis is promoting collaboration among law enforcement, regulators, financial institutions and other industry participants to address risk and fraud issues.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. As part of the nation's central banking system, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous commercial banks and provides a variety of financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government.