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Payments Studies Group

We pursue meaningful analysis and provide insights into emerging payment technologies, specifically in the consumer to business payments space and how they affect the industry and the future, by developing and sharing payments acumen to influence policy and publish meaningful payments research.

The Payments Studies Group will help the leadership of the Payments Services function and the senior management of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to gain a better understanding of the evolution of payments and what those changes mean for the Fed's payments policy. The group will develop new methods of gathering information related to payments trends from both corporations and financial institutions. It will also collaborate with other areas of the Richmond Fed — including Research, and Supervision, Regulation and Credit — as well as with peers throughout the Federal Reserve System doing similar work.


We provide meaningful insights into payments operations data and industry trends that enable our stakeholders to enhance their services.


Be the Federal Reserve leader in payments research and analytics.


  • Create and Sustain Partnerships: Bring together System stakeholders to broaden knowledge, foster dialogue and innovation.
  • Educate, inform and influence payments policy through research: Conduct and leverage payments research and expertise to shape strategy around changes in the payments landscape and the impacts on the merchant community.
  • Promote and support data-driven decisions across payments: Harness technology to gather, store and analyze data to answer key questions, draw conclusions and facilitate informed decision making.
  • Engage people and resources: Recruit, develop and retain talented people and seek leadership opportunities that bring value to our stakeholders


  • From Mail to Mobile: A New Generation in Payments
    "From Mail to Mobile – A New Generation in Payments" examines data from the Federal Reserve 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, which tracked 2,467 participants who made 12,647 actual consumer payments totaling $453,655 over a rolling three-day period in October of 2012. The analysis focuses on different generations – aged 18 through 94 – and how they made payments, including the median dollar value of payments and the device used.
  • 2012 Payments Fraud Survey, Summary of Results
    Report on survey of fraud experienced by Fifth District businesses and financial institutions.
  • Will That Be Cash or Cell?
    Feature on expanding use of mobile payments and how the Fed is studying this changing environment.
  • Coin and Currency in the Casino Industry
    Report on how changes in the gaming industry have changed people’s use of coin and currency in U.S. casinos.
  • The Role of Interchange Fees on Debit and Credit Card Transactions in the Payments System
    When consumers use debit or credit cards to make purchases, merchants are assessed fees for processing the transactions, the largest of which is called an "interchange" fee. Rising interchange fees, along with the growing dominance of card transactions in the payments system, have brought increasing scrutiny from regulators on the appropriate level of interchange fees and the competitive aspects of card networks. This Economic Brief looks at the trends, mechanics, and economic role of interchange fees and finds that the issue may be more complicated than it initially appears.

Business and Consumer Payments Advisory Council   

The Business and Consumer Payments Advisory Council (BACPAC) was established in 2009 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to collect and exchange information with merchants on consumer to business payments.  This unique collaboration enables the Federal Reserve Bank to analyze consumer payment patterns and to identify and understand emerging payment trends and risks.

The Council has regional advisory groups in Charlotte, Richmond and Baltimore that meet twice each year in the spring and the fall.  Each regional council has approximately 20 business representatives from a diverse mix of companies including large national chains, smaller regional companies and specialty businesses.

Attendees benefit from the exchange of viewpoints and perspectives of forward-thinking business leaders; by learning of issues confronting their counterparts and the solutions applied; and by establishing open lines of communication with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.  Volunteer council members also provide anecdotal and statistical sales and related consumer payments data for their business.  In addition, members are encouraged to supply feedback on topics such as currency, counterfeiting trends, fraud, payments technology and other consumer payment issues.

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