Press Room

The Clearing House Welcomes Release of CFPB’s Consumer Protection Principles for Faster Payment Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Sean Oblack
202.649.4629 

New York, NY – The Clearing House (TCH) welcomed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) release of its “Consumer Protection Principles” for faster payment systems. TCH agrees with the CFPB’s views on the importance of protecting consumers that use faster payments, and strongly supports making consumers’ interests a key consideration as the industry works to build a new real-time payment system.

“As the industry works to develop a real-time payments system ensuring the system’s foundation is built with strong consumer protections in place must be a top priority,” said Jim Aramanda, President and CEO of The Clearing House. “Protecting consumers’ hard earned money and providing them a safe and efficient way to transfer funds is at the core of what banks have done for centuries. We welcome the CFPB’s ‘Consumer Protections Principles’ for faster payments and share its commitment to ensure real-time payments are safe and reliable for consumers.” 

The banking industry is making great strides in developing a secure, real-time payment system to better meet consumers’ and businesses’ needs. Through its deep understanding of existing payment systems and models, both domestically and abroad, TCH is working to ensure the new system will provide multiple layers of consumer protections and address each of the considerations outlined by the CFPB. 

In addition to ensuring the application of existing consumer protection regulations, the industry’s proactive approach will include additional protections for consumers, and improve on the current security capabilities associated with existing payment systems. These additional controls, which will be incorporated into the real-time system design and implemented through operating rules, include:

  • Credit Push Only. The system will support the clearing and settlement of credit push payments only, which eliminates the potential for unauthorized debits to a consumers’ account giving consumers control over their payments.
  • Tokenization. The system will route and process tokenized transactions, which will significantly increase payment security and help to limit the proliferation of consumer account credentials.
  • Security and Privacy. Financial institution participants in the system will be required to satisfy data security requirements and standards for sender authentication/payment authorization, which will ensure that depository institution-level security standards are applied to all payment transactions. 
  • Controls to Prevent Sender Errors. The system will employ a variety of advanced safeguards to prevent consumer errors, including controls that will reduce the risk of erroneous payments caused by a consumer data entry error.
  • Process to Request Return of Erroneous Payments. The system will adhere to new operating rules and new inter-financial institution messaging capabilities to facilitate the request for the return of a payment in the event a consumer error does occur. 
  • Centralized Fraud Monitoring and Controls. The system operator will use proactive controls to monitor for “red flags” of mass market fraud and to mitigate misuse of the system. 

The industry’s new real-time payment system will also benefit consumers through, among other things, faster access to funds, increased certainty regarding funds availability, and new, extensive messaging capabilities. 

About The Clearing House

Established in 1853, The Clearing House is the oldest banking association and payments company in the United States. It is owned by the world’s largest commercial banks, which collectively hold more than half of all U.S. deposits and which employ over one million people in the United States, and more than two million people worldwide. The Clearing House Association L.L.C. is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that represents the interests of its owner banks by promoting and developing policies to support a safe, sound and competitive banking system that serves customers and communities. Its affiliate, The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C., which is regulated as a systemically important financial market utility, owns and operates payments technology infrastructure that provides safe and efficient payment, clearing and settlement services to financial institutions, and leads innovation and thought leadership activities for the next generation of payments. It clears almost $2 trillion each day, representing nearly half of all automated clearing-house, funds transfer and check-image payments made in the United States. See The Clearing House’s web page at www.theclearinghouse.org.