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Retailers, payments companies join forces on new security-focused trade group

Retail and payments industry stakeholders have formed a new association, the Secure Payments Partnership, to promote security across the payments system.

According to a press release, SPP marks the first time that interests representing diverse parts of the payments system have joined forces to address the ongoing battle against payment fraud and devise improvements for the U.S. card payment system.

SPP founding members include the Food Marketing Institute, National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association, First Data's Star Network and Shazam.

According to SPP, the U.S. currently lags behind the rest of the world in card payment security because just two major card networks control and set payment security standards without the input of others.

SPP hopes to open up the process to competing card networks, merchants, consumers and financial institutions, so that all stakeholders can work together to increase the security and transparency of payments, and limit the effects of fraud, the release said.

The partnership will also focus on meeting consumer expectations for security, convenience and flexibility in payment options, as new technologies emerge.

"As innovation and technology continue to evolve and offer new ways to authenticate, we are committed to working in concert with our partners to address shortcomings in the payments system," said Dan Kramer, senior vice president of government and community affairs at Shazam. "We look forward to working across the industry and with policymakers in Washington to implement real solutions."