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National Restaurant Association - NRA applauds Fed’s effort to understand emerging payments

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NRA applauds Fed’s effort to understand emerging payments

The National Restaurant Association filed comments with the Federal Reserve this week commending the agency for its plan to ramp up the voluntary collection of retail-payments information that will be helpful to restaurants, retailers and other businesses trying to navigate an increasingly complex U.S. payments landscape.

With so many point-of-sale environments in restaurants -- ranging from in-store counters to tableside payments to online purchases -- the industry needs more information and transparency to plan for future systems, the NRA told the Federal Reserve.

"As the U.S. payments landscape is rapidly beginning to shift around us, the [restaurant] industry is closely following emerging trends and opportunities to increase customer satisfaction and ease of use, enhance security, and lower transaction and infrastructure (i.e., hardware and software) costs by fostering more marketplace efficiencies," the NRA said in its comments.

The NRA said the Federal Reserve's comprehensive review will make it easier for businesses to understand guests' preferences for payments and their comfort with emerging technologies.

"The current U.S. payments system is too complex for the average small business owner, and this is something the industry would like to see change. Increased transparency, some of which will be provided by the proposed information collection process, is necessary to achieve that change," the NRA told the Fed's Board of Governors.

Restaurants are especially interested in learning more about whether consumers are increasingly substituting other payments for cash; authentication methods needed to guarantee the security of new payment technologies; and the infrastructure required to support the use of "mobile wallets" by consumers, including investments in cloud computing and new point-of-sales equipment and software.

"Access to sound, reliable information and research is a critical component to making informed decisions on these fronts, and we greatly appreciate the efforts by the Federal Reserve to enhance the quality and availability of such information," the NRA said. Read the NRA's letter here.


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