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Series:Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 

Discussion Paper
The laws, regulations, guidelines, and industry practices that protect consumers who use gift cards
This paper discusses consumer protections available to gift-card users. Specifically, it examines the ways in which value loaded at the time of purchase is protected for future card use or returned to consumers when the card is not used or has expired. The consumer protection information included in this paper is derived from a number of sources, including several types of state statutes, Federal Trade Commission decisions, financial industry regulatory agency guidelines, and previous interviews with payments industry experts regarding practices concerning network-branded gift cards. This paper expands research begun by the Payment Cards Center in 2004 into prepaid cards generally and the protections available to consumers who use gift cards specifically.
AUTHORS: Keitel, Philip
DATE: 2008

Discussion Paper
Combining Forces to Combat Elder Financial Victimization How Consumers Can Avoid the Financial Pitfalls of Cognitive Aging and What They Should Be Asking Their Financial Institutions
Medical research has linked financial vulnerability to accelerated cognitive aging ? the process by which cognitive abilities decline with age. Consumers who understand the risks of cognitive aging and what their financial institutions are doing to detect and deter financial crimes are better positioned to safeguard their retirement savings. In this paper, we examine how consumers and financial institutions can prepare for the financial pitfalls of aging. We present seven important steps that consumers aged 50 or older can take to protect themselves. We also provide consumers with a list of six questions to determine how well their financial institutions are prepared to detect signs of diminished financial capacity, elder fraud, and financial abuse, and to prevent financial losses from occurring.
AUTHORS: Santucci, Larry; Rentezelas, Jeanne
DATE: 2018-06-14

Discussion Paper
Fair lending analysis of credit cards
This paper discusses some of the key fair lending risks that can arise in various stages of the marketing, acquisition, and management of credit card accounts, and the analysis that can be employed to manage such risks. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing Regulation B prohibit discrimination in all aspects of credit transactions and include specific provisions relating to processes that employ credit scoring models. This paper discusses some of the areas of credit card operations that may be assessed in an effort to manage the risk of noncompliance with fair lending laws and regulations. Particular attention is focused on approaches to testing for the risk of disparate impact on a prohibited basis in credit scoring models and model-intensive prescreened marketing campaigns, as well as in judgmental credit card underwriting. The paper concludes by discussing how the fair lending risks associated with credit scoring models may be managed by synchronizing compliance oversight with an institution's model governance framework. The methods discussed in this paper are also applicable to other consumer credit products that utilize credit scoring models.
AUTHORS: Skanderson, David; Ritter, Dubravka
DATE: 2014-08-18

Discussion Paper
Millennials with money: a new look at who uses GPR prepaid cards
Phoenix Marketing International is a top 40 Honomichl market research company that annually fields an omnibus financial services survey that collects information from a representative sample of American households. Beginning in 2012, the survey added a series of questions designed to gather data on ownership and use of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards. This paper reports on those findings, including the discovery of a "power user" segment of the market composed of young and mid- to upper-income consumers who own and use GPR cards at rates well above the market average. Younger adults also appear to be combining both mainstream and alternative financial services in ways that complicate some attempts to classify consumers as "banked" or "underbanked."
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan; Weed, Greg
DATE: 2014-09-01

Discussion Paper
Quantifying Cyber Risk in the Financial Services Industry
The Consumer Finance Institute hosted a workshop in February 2017 featuring James Fox, partner and principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and a leading authority on cybersecurity in the financial services industry. He discussed the importance of measuring cyber risk, highlighted some challenges that financial institutions face in measuring cyber risk, and assessed several leading cyber-risk management methodologies. Fox also provided some recommendations for bank exams and insights into how federal agencies might begin to quantify systemic cyber risk. This paper summarizes Fox?s presentation and is supplemented by additional research.
AUTHORS: Santucci, Larry
DATE: 2018-11-11

Discussion Paper
An examination of mobile banking and mobile payments: building adoption as experience goods?
This paper examines consumer adoption of mobile banking and mobile payments using the experience goods and learning by doing constructs as a framework to better understand adoption patterns in the United States and how these may differ in other world markets. Consumer experience and familiarity with mobile devices is considered along with three relatively new communication technologies ? SMS text messaging, wireless Internet access, and near field communication (NFC) ? that are making important contributions to mobile financial services. Online banking and contactless payments ? and consumers? experience with them ? are also studied as ?building blocks? to mobile financial services. Furthermore, this analysis considers other factors that are affecting adoption patterns, including financial inclusion opportunities, data security problems, and coordination issues. Together, the building blocks and these other factors will influence how markets for mobile financial services develop.
AUTHORS: Cheney, Julia S.
DATE: 2008

Discussion Paper
Measuring U.S. credit card borrowing: an analysis of the G.19's estimate of consumer revolving credit
This paper describes the Federal Reserve System?s monthly estimate of revolving consumer credit as published in the G.19 statistical release. It analyzes the source data, sampling methods, and calculations on which this estimate currently relies. In addition, it proposes a framework for analyzing the revolving credit statistic and suggests modifications to how the estimate is calculated and presented. The paper concludes that the revolving credit estimate is highly accurate and proposes that the System consider five modifications that would improve its usefulness to researchers.
AUTHORS: Ody, Christopher; Furletti, Mark
DATE: 2006

Discussion Paper
How effective were the financial safety nets in the aftermath of Katrina?
This paper describes the U.S. financial system?s response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and examines how financial safety nets helped meet consumers? needs in the aftermath of the storm. Overall, we find that consumers who hold deposit accounts at financial institutions are less vulnerable to financial disruptions than individuals who do not have either a checking or a savings account (the unbanked). The federal banking regulators? and financial institutions? responses to Hurricane Katrina, the financial vulnerability of unbanked families to this unexpected catastrophic event, and how the American Red Cross, FEMA, and the Gulf States? relief efforts supplied financial assistance to Katrina?s victims are also addressed. Finally, we present several strategies that can be pursued to further safeguard the U.S. population and the financial community against extraordinary events.
AUTHORS: Rhine, Sherrie L. W.; Cheney, Julia S.
DATE: 2006

Discussion Paper
Credit Card Landscape Update
This recap of a January 2017 Payment Cards Center workshop conducted by Frank Martien of First Annapolis Consulting, Inc. (since acquired by and now part of Accenture) adds to the literature on conditions in the markets for consumer and commercial credit cards, and credit and debit cards use by small businesses, at a point some years after the 2007?2009 recession. Some insights are provided as to how the supply and demand sides for these products are operating after this major economic disruption and the enactment of two pieces of legislation affecting payment cards. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act) and the Durbin Amendment, which went into effect in 2010 and 2011, respectively, had implications for the market for payment cards used by consumers and small businesses. Commercial cards used by corporations and government were not affected by these regulations, but there have still been major developments in that product line. Readers will get a glimpse of some of the innovations occurring in commercial cards.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2018-01-09

Discussion Paper
Improving experience in the prepaid card industry: a customer service workshop
Contact Solutions LLC provides third-party contact center support for a number of government-sponsored prepaid card programs, including U.S. Treasury?s Direct Express. One of the explicit objectives of these programs is to link previously unbanked individuals with access to electronic banking services. With little prior experience as banking consumers, these individuals exhibit usage and behavior patterns, including their consumption of customer service, that differ from those of customers more familiar with financial services. This has presented some new challenges for contact centers. Contact Solutions executives facilitated a Payment Cards Center workshop during which they described some of these challenges and discussed how contact centers are responding.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2014-05-01

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