Risk Management and Security are Payments Industrywide Responsibilities


Jane Larimer

President and CEO


The payment industry is constantly evolving and innovating. So are the threats it faces. Scammers work hard conjuring up new tricks, which is why we can’t let our guard down for even a minute. Security needs to evolve and innovate every bit as fast for the entire payments universe, regardless of payment type. Everyone involved in the payments space needs to remain diligent.

Nacha has long been proud that the ACH Network is one of the world’s safest payment systems. Risk management is one of the most important things we do at Nacha. It’s vital to every ACH Network participant, from consumers and small businesses, large companies and nonprofits, to financial institutions and processors.  That’s why it’s in our DNA. It’s a key consideration to any Rules change we make, such as enhancing Same Day ACH, and it can be the reason for a new Rule, such as creating the ACH Contact Registry. 
Current fraud threats—and how to combat them—have a dedicated page on Nacha.org. There’s a lot covered there, including Business Email Compromise, a scourge the FBI said resulted in $1.8 billion in losses last year. During this year’s Smarter Faster Payments Remote Connect, an agent said the bureau sees many cases of a CEO’s email being hacked, with urgent messages instructing finance to pay an invoice at once. The money goes straight to the scammer’s account. 

Nacha also recently updated our “Protecting Against Cyber Fraud Booklet” with guidance on what to look for, what to do, and what not to do. The booklet is free to download

Nacha’s Accredited Payments Risk Professional (APRP) program is a designation for those that have mastered the complexities of risk management for ACH, check, wire, debit, credit and prepaid cards, and emerging and alternative payments. Having APRPs in your organization can help you identify and fine-tune current processes and procedures, or implement new, more sophisticated approaches. 

The importance of the Risk Management Advisory Group (RMAG), a volunteer group of industry leaders in ACH risk and compliance, cannot be understated. RMAG has been invaluable in helping to develop new and updated Rules, better education and resources, and more, all to proactively keep the ACH Network safe. 
Nacha’s Risk Management Portal is home to the ACH Contact Registry and other tools to help enhance ACH Network quality and security, fueling innovation and the continued growth of the ACH Network. 

Nacha is a payments education leader for all types of payments so it is no surprise that we are also a leader in helping others mitigate risk across all payment types. Nacha offers many resources to financial institutions and other organizations looking to bolster their risk management strategy. One of our main focuses is giving the payments industry the tools to help stay aware of, and to mitigate not just today’s threats but tomorrow’s, because while the dangers will undoubtedly change, no one can honestly believe they will disappear. 
That makes education crucial, which is why you’ll find sessions dedicated to risk management at Smarter Faster PaymentsTPI on Campus and TPI Home School. SPEAK (Strengthening Payments Engagement and Knowledge), the on-demand learning management platform from Nacha and its Payments Association partners, also features risk courses. 

Nacha works with a wide range of stakeholders to fight fraud and other dangers, and we believe that fighting fraud takes an “all hands on deck” approach. As our IT folks like to say, safety is everyone’s responsibility, and I believe that applies to the entire payments industry. Whether opting not to click on that tempting attachment, or deciding to verify that the CEO really requested that bank account change, or updating information in the ACH Contact Registry, every step that’s taken to ensure safety is important. Educate employees and colleagues on the dangers lurking; keep your guard up. 

Managing risk is a crucial responsibility for our industry. Let’s make sure we’re all doing everything possible, and then some, to keep the payments industry safe and secure.ct