FAQ

1. What is the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum (the “Forum”) is a cross-industry body focused on addressing issues that require broad cooperation and coordination across many constituents in the payments industry. This cooperation and coordination is vital to promote the efficient, timely, and effective introduction of EMV chip technology and other new and emerging payments technologies in the United States that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S.

2. Why was the name changed from the EMV Migration Forum?

The EMV Migration Forum has been instrumental in the progress of the U.S. migration to EMV chip technology by providing a forum for essential cooperation and coordination across the whole payments ecosystem. The transition of this organization to the U.S. Payments Forum provides an opportunity to capitalize on the strong, existing organization that the networks, issuers, merchants, processors, and industry suppliers already know and trust, allowing the entire industry to continue to work together to ensure successful implementation of other new and emerging technologies. Formed in 2012 by the Smart Card Alliance, EMV Migration Forum announced in 2016 that it would become the U.S. Payments Forum to provide expanded support for the entire payments ecosystem. The U.S. Payments Forum will continue to support the chip migration while also broadening its focus to other new and emerging payments technologies in the U.S.

3. What are the objectives of the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum will support the need for alignment of the implementation steps required of payments industry stakeholders involved in successfully introducing new and emerging technologies, including the global and domestic payment networks, issuers, merchants, acquirers, processors, industry suppliers, and integrators, to help enable successful introduction of new payments technologies to protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S.

4. What are the priorities of the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum will continue to address EMV chip payments and a variety of new and emerging payments technologies that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S. New topic areas the Forum plans to address include, but are not limited to, tokenization, card-not-present transactions, encryption, and mobile and contactless payments.

5. Who can join the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum membership will be made up of current EMV Migration Forum membersand other new constituent groups representing mobile payments, e-commerce services, cloud payments, and new technologies to ensure that all stakeholders in the payment industry have a voice in the future of the U.S. payments industry. Those considered in the payments industry include:

  • Acquirers
  • Card services
  • Consultants and consulting firms
  • Consumer representatives
  • Local, state and federal government organizations
  • Industry associations
  • Individual consultants related to payments
  • Industry suppliers (software, hardware and services)
  • Issuers
  • Merchants
  • Mobile applications and service providers
  • Standards organizations
  • Systems integrators
  • Payments networks
  • Processors
  • Other constituents with a demonstrated interest in promoting the mission of the Forum

6. What are the activities of the U.S. Payments Forum?

The following activities – many of which require some level of industry cooperation and/or coordination involving face-to-face dialog and written communications – comprise the majority of Forum work:

  • Continued support of the chip migration, especially supporting those segments that have not completed their implementation, or are working out further challenges related to their implementations
  • Providing best practices and actionable guidance on technical issues, consumer awareness and other non-proprietary issues relating to industry-wide adoption and implementation of new payments technologies
  • Facilitating the potential coordination of process-related elements of the payments infrastructure that impact multiple stakeholders
  • Engaging in projects to facilitate consumer adoption and allow for a more consistent consumer experience
  • Providing implementation feedback on proposed new payments specifications to standards bodies

7. What are some of the EMV topics within the scope of the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum will continue to focus on areas of the EMV chip migration that require support and implementation guidance. In addition to the ongoing migration to chip, new topic areas the Forum plans to address include, but are not limited to, tokenization, card-not-present transactions, encryption, and mobile and contactless payments.

8. How often does the U.S. Payments Forum meet?

The Forum meets several times per year to discuss and address points which require some level of industry cooperation and/or coordination and to provide educational sessions on topics of interest.  Forum working committees hold sessions at these meetings and engage in projects to address specific aspects of the EMV migration and new payments technology implementations. Working committees are supported by volunteers from a diverse set of member organizations and meet regularly via teleconferences and web conference calls.

9. What are the U.S. Payments Forum member benefits?

  • Visibility – Putting your organization at the forefront of leaders in the payments industry through active participation in Forum activities, projects and meetings and through the organization’s outreach efforts promoting EMV and other new and emerging payments technologies
  • Influence –Working with your industry peers to contribute to the U.S. payments industry policies and best practices for the design, implementation, and use of EMV-enabled cards, devices and terminals and for implementation of new and emerging payments technologies
  • Access – Collaborating with payments industry leaders to discuss and determine best practices for implementation of emerging payments technologies in the U.S.
  • Networking – Establishing valuable contacts to help your organization establish your strategy for supporting emerging payments technologies
  • Innovation – Working with peers to explore opportunities and challenges and to help prepare the U.S. payments infrastructure for emerging payments technologies
  • Lower research or implementation costs – Sharing work with peers from other organizations to reduce the time and cost needed to think through and plan complex payments implementation details, develop best practices and resolve industry issues
  • Information, research and learning – Gaining priority access to new policies, technology advances, and legislative changes through Forum activities, projects and meetings
  • Business and industry outreach – Carrying your message promoting the value of emerging payments technologies to the U.S. payments industry
  • Public opinion influence – Providing a unified, credible industry voice for payments in the U.S. that no single member can achieve alone with policy makers, media, analysts and other influencers
  • Advance knowledge – Gaining market advantage by getting information and acting on it before many “outsiders” know it is happening

10. How does the U.S. Payments Forum decide on activities and topics?

The Forum Steering Committee and membership will develop the priority topics and establish the plan for addressing and communicating the topics and conclusions to the industry. Deliverables may be white papers, position statements, technical guidance, workshops, webinars or other communications vehicles that are appropriate for communicating to the U.S. payments industry.

11. How is the U.S. Payments Forum organized and managed?

The U.S. Payments Forum is an independent, self-sustaining chapter, under Secure Technology Alliance ownership, with a separate membership fee. The Forum Steering Committee defines its annual budget, which is reviewed and approved by the Secure Technology Alliance Board. Figure 1 below shows an overview of the U.S. Payments Forum organization structure. The Forum is a membership organization, which elects a Steering Committee to govern the Forum activities and which forms working committees to discuss topics and produce Forum deliverables.

Figure 1. U.S. Payments Forum Organization

12. What are the membership levels of the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum has seven classes of membership:

  • Global Payments Network Member
  • Principal PLUS Member
  • Principal Member
  • General Member
  • Industry Association Member
  • Government Member
  • Associate Member

Global Payments Network Membership

This membership level is open to any global payment network.

Global Payments Network member benefits:

  • Entitled to designate an individual to serve on the U.S. Payments Forum’s Steering Committee
  • Eligible to vote for representatives for Forum Steering Committee reserved for Principal members
  • Eligible to serve as an officer of the Steering Committee (if elected) and chairperson for any working committee
  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committees
  • Entitled to up to six (6) representatives attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee
  • Entitled to an unlimited number of individuals joining and participating in Forum working committees
  • Full access to all working committee documents, including Steering Committee and working committee meeting minutes
  • Full membership status in the Secure Technology Alliance and all associated membership rights at the Leadership Council membership level in the Alliance
  • Able to be nominated and serve in an elected position in the Secure Technology Alliance
  • Dual membership recognition comes with a payment of a single membership fee

Principal PLUS Membership

This membership level is open to any firm, partnership, incorporated industry association, or governmental body. Principal PLUS Membership has equal standing to Principal Membership within the U.S. Payments Forum with one exception: Principal PLUS Members have cross-organizational membership rights in the Secure Technology Alliance that are not available to Principal Members. Individuals may not join at this level.

Principal PLUS Network member benefits:

  • Eligible to designate an individual to be elected to serve as a representative on the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee
  • Eligible to vote for representatives for Forum Steering Committee reserved for Principal members
  • Eligible to serve as an officer of the Steering Committee (if elected) and chairperson for any working committee
  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committees
  • Entitled to up to four (4) representatives attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee.
  • Entitled to an unlimited number of individuals joining and participating in Forum working committees
  • Full access to all working committee documents and meeting minutes
  • Full membership status in the Secure Technology Alliance and all associated membership rights at the Leadership Council membership level of the Alliance
  • Able to be nominated and serve in an elected position in the Secure Technology Alliance
  • Dual membership recognition comes with a payment of a single membership fee

Principal Membership

This membership level is open to any firm, partnership, incorporated industry association, or governmental body. Individuals may not join at this level.

Principal member benefits:

  • Entitled to designate an individual to be elected to serve as a representative on the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee
  • Eligible to vote for representatives for Forum Steering Committee reserved for Principal members
  • Eligible to serve as an officer of the Steering Committee (if elected) and chairperson for any working committee
  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committee meetings
  • Entitled to up to four (4) representatives attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee.
  • Entitled to an unlimited number of individuals joining and participating in Forum working committees
  • Full access to all working committee documents and meeting minutes
  • Ability to participate in cross-organizational activities in the Secure Technology Alliance, including industry councils
  • Opportunity to attend Secure Technology Alliance in-person conferences and activities at the Secure Technology Alliance member rate

General Membership

This membership level is open to any firm, partnership, incorporated industry association, and governmental bodies. Individuals may not join at this level.

General member benefits:

  • Eligible to designate an individual to be elected to the two (2) seats on the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee that have been reserved for General Members
  • Entitled to one vote in electing the two U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee representatives to represent the interests of all General Members on the Forum Steering Committee.
  • Eligible to serve as an officer of the Steering Committee (if elected) and chairperson for any working committee
  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committee meetings
  • Entitled to up to two (2) representatives attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee
  • Participation in all U.S. Payments Forum working committees. Entitled to up to two (2) individuals joining and participating in Forum working committees.
  • Opportunity to request to participate – or be invited by a Secure Technology Alliance industry council member to participate – in any Secure Technology Alliance council activity
  • Opportunity to attend Secure Technology Alliance in-person conferences and activities at the Secure Technology Alliance member rate

Industry Association Membership

This membership level is open to any incorporated industry association whose membership includes payments industry participants relevant to U.S. Payments Forum activities. Firms, partnerships, and individuals are not eligible at this level.

Industry Association member benefits:

  • Entitled to designate one individual who will be an active member of the U.S. Payments Forum
  • representatives
  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committee meetings
  • Entitled to one (1) representative attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee.
  • Participation in all U.S. Payments Forum working committees
  • Eligible to serve as chairperson for any working committee
  • Opportunity to request to participate – or be invited by a Secure Technology Alliance industry council member to participate – in any Secure Technology Alliance council activity
  • Opportunity to attend Secure Technology Alliance in-person conferences and activities at the Secure Technology Alliance member rate

Government Membership

This membership level is open to local, federal or state governmental agencies that meet the overall criteria for membership.

Government member benefits:

  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committee meetings
  • Entitled to one (1) representative attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge
  • Participation in all U.S. Payments Forum working committees.
  • Entitled to one (1) individual joining and participating in Forum working committees. Additional individuals may attend meetings for a fee.
  • Eligible to serve as chairperson for any working committee
  • Opportunity to request to participate – or be invited by a Secure Technology Alliance industry council member to participate – in any council activity
  • Ability to attend Secure Technology Alliance in-person conferences and activities at the Secure Technology Alliance member

Associate Membership

This membership level is open to individuals, including consultants, contractors, or other professionals, who are not full or part-time employees of any organization that qualifies for membership under existing categories of the U.S. Payments Forum.

Associate member benefits:

  • Entitled to be represented at all member meetings, including working committee meetings
  • Entitled to one (1) representative attending each in-person Forum or working committee meeting at no charge. Additional individuals may attend in-person Forum or working committee meetings for a fee.
  • Participation in all U.S. Payments Forum working committees
  • Entitled to one (1) individual joining and participating in Forum working committees
  • Eligible to serve as chairperson for any working committee
  • Opportunity to request to participate – or be invited by a Secure Technology Alliance industry council member to participate – in any council activity
  • Ability to attend Secure Technology Alliance in-person conferences and activities at the Secure Technology Alliance member rate

13. What is the difference between a Secure Technology Alliance industry council and a U.S. Payments Forum working committee or special interest group?

The U.S. Payments Forum membership includes the broader payments market that will be impacted by EMV and new and emerging payments technologies than the current industry councils, specifically merchants, financial card issuers, domestic payments networks and related industry associations. The Forum includes organizations that have no previous involvement with or usage of related technologies and that are interested in how these technologies are integrated into the U.S. payments infrastructure.

14. What is the role of the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee is the decision-making and governing body for the Forum. The committee is structured with an equal number of seats representing the global brands, issuers, and merchants, Additional seats are reserved for other payments stakeholders so that there is a balance of representation. The role of the Steering Committee is to:

  • Establish the strategy guiding the Forum
  • Develop the Forum’s annual work program
  • Approve the Forum’s plans and positions relevant to the successful migration of the U.S. market to EMV and emerging payments technologies
  • Approve completion of projects and deliverables
  • Approve working committee chairs who guide the working committee activities
  • Approve press releases related to the activities of the U.S. Payments Forum organization
  • Develop the Forum’s annual budget, with approval from the Secure Technology Alliance Board of Director

15. Who chooses the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee?

The Forum Steering Committee is elected by the Forum membership and serves a two (2) year term. Steering Committee representatives are nominated and elected to serve in specific categories, to ensure representation of all key constituents involved in the U.S. payments community.

 16. What is the composition of the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee?

Five Global Payment Networks have permanent seats on the Steering Committee. With the exception of two seats elected as the General Member representatives by the General Members, all Steering Committee representatives are Principal Members elected by the Forum’s Principal membership base.

The Steering Committee will include the designated number of representatives from each category below:

  • Global Payment Networks (5 seats)
  • Issuers (5 seats)
  • Merchants (5 seats)
  • Acquirers/Processors (2 seats)
  • Domestic Payment Networks (2 seats)
  • Industry Suppliers¹ (2 seats)
  • Other (2 seats reserved for the General Membership to elect)

The Steering Committee may vote to change the composition to add or delete Steering Committee categories or to change other governance rules.

17. Who are the U.S. Payments Forum officers?

The Forum has four officers: chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. These Forum officers are elected by the Steering Committee once the Steering Committee has been elected by the Forum membership.

18. What are the key roles of the U.S. Payments Forum officers?

The key roles of the officers are to: manage the day-to-day activities of the Forum; manage schedule, scope and budget for the projects in the adopted work plan; develop new membership to support the Forum; and solicit volunteers to support initiatives undertaken by the Forum.

19. How does the U.S. Payments Forum make decisions?

The Forum decision making process is as follows:

  • Forum Steering Committee representatives have a vote in Forum decisions (e.g., to approve publication of deliverables or Forum positions, press releases, launch new projects, change Forum operating guidelines, develop Forum strategy and work plan). Each Steering Committee representative (including the two General Member representatives) has one vote in any Steering Committee decision. A simple majority of votes cast by elected members of the Steering Committee carries any decision
  • All Forum members may participate in Forum working committees, with project completion determined by consensus of participating members. Except for electing the Forum Steering Committee, Forum members have no voting rights in Forum activities

20. Where can I find the membership application and bylaws?

The membership bylaws and application are available by visiting http://www.uspaymentsforum.org/membership/membership-application/.


¹ An industry supplier is any chip, card, reader, ATM, HSM or other hardware, software or service provider to the industry.

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