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EFTA Reaches 40th Anniversary Milestone

This year marks the 40th year of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA), an inter-industry trade association that since its inception has been dedicated to the advancement of electronic payments systems and commerce. EFTA represents its members on a range of issues and topics that currently include ATMs, electronic payments and commerce, debit technology, prepaid, cybersecurity, electronic benefits transfer (EBT), data privacy, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), fintech and mobile payments. Advocacy and industry representation on Capitol Hill have been the hallmark of its stellar efficacy.

EFTA’s greatest asset is its Board of Directors and membership, who represent some of the most prominent payment experts and leaders across the country. EFTA has provided leadership on the forefront of many major ground-breaking developments in the payments industry. Accomplishments and achievements over the last four decades include:

  • Providing commentary that ultimately formed Regulation E which sets forth the rules and procedures for electronic funds transfers, the guidelines for the sale and issuance of debit cards, and the consumer liability rules for unauthorized card usage;
  • Conducting research to develop a five-year forecast of the markets for EFT/POS in retail verticals including fast food, petroleum, grocery and airline;
  • Insuring ATM ADA compliance by ATM manufacturers and owners;
  • Forming and leading the multi-constituency enterprise comprised of private sector and government agencies to support the automation of social welfare programs, including SNAP electronic benefit transactions (EBT) – arguably the most successful public- private partnership the payment services industry has seen;
  • Managing the Shared Network Alliance Council, structured as a forum for debit network CEOs to address major issues regarding the promulgation of PIN debit to increase the safety and security of payment transaction processing in the physical and online environments;
  • Testifying before Congress against proposed legislation limiting ATM surcharges;
  • Developing inter-industry guidance to combat ATM fraud;
  • Directing a successful legislative advocacy effort to change ATM signage regulation, thereby eliminating frivolous lawsuits;
  • Participating as an industry stakeholder and task force member in the Federal Reserve Faster Payments and Secure Payments initiatives;
  • Leading successful inter-industry legislative and regulatory educational effort to rescind the government initiative know as Operation Choke Point, enabling legitimate, lawful businesses to continue to conduct their commerce and banking activities in a “normal” manner.

“We used to talk about the evolution of payments, and now we talk about the revolution taking place in the payments space,” said Kurt Helwig, President and CEO of the EFTA. “Going forward, financial services including the emerging fintech industry will have a growing influence on the creation of new, innovative products and services designed to serve the customer in a safer, faster and more convenient manner. EFTA will continue to provide thought leadership as this ever-changing industry tackles some of the greatest security issues in the online, mobile and blockchain payments environments that the industry has ever seen. I’m confident that EFTA members are ready for the challenge.”

“As a board member of EFTA for more than 10 years, one of the aspects of the organization that I particularly value is EFTA in the role of 'objective and trusted advisor,'” said Patricia O’Donnell, Chair of the EFTA Board of Directors. “EFTA continues to inform and educate all stakeholders in the payment ecosystem of both the intended and unintended consequences of potential legislative and regulatory activity and is in a position to do so on behalf of the entire payments industry which is quite powerful. Additionally, the focus on and inclusion of fintech organizations has ensured EFTA maintains objective and relevant perspectives on how technology continues to advance in how we make and secure all payment transactions.”

About EFTA

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) is a non-profit trade association dedicated to the advancement of electronic payments and electronic commerce. EFTA members include the nation’s leading financial institutions, ATM owners, networks and manufacturers, payment processors, card companies, software companies, state governments and technology services providers. For 40 years it has informed debate over the consumer, business and policy implications of new and existing payments technology. EFTA accomplishes this through public outreach to Congress, the administrative agencies, regulators, consumers and the media. For more information, visit www.efta.org.

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