The American Transaction Processors Coalition (ATPC) today announces the launch of its new COVID-19 Task Force. This new group will be comprised of ATPC member company Chief Risk Officers, COVID-19 team leads, and Business Continuity Managers, to take a deeper dive into their concerns. The Task Force is being led by Carolyn Homberger, EVP & Chief Risk Officer for ACI Worldwide (an ATPC Board Member).

The payments industry, including processors, network brands, banks and others, have played a critical role in the American economy during this time of unprecedented crisis. The international payments industry, centered primarily in the United States, is ensuring that commerce continues in our country and across the world in the face of great and ever-increasing challenges. America’s payments processing companies are working around the clock to keep economies in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa operational.

America’s payments “processing” industry – largely concentrated in Atlanta’s “Transaction Alley” – is responsible for enabling business and consumer transactions across all sectors of the economy here and abroad. The industry, which employs well over 100,000 people nationally, creates the credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, gift cards and payments terminals and processes the transactions that enable America’s economy to move, especially in times of crisis like the Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak.

“We created the COVID-19 Task Force as a direct response to member concerns about managing many regulatory compliance and legislative activity during this crisis,” said ATPC Executive Director H. West Richards. “The task force will provide a platform to discuss items like DHS/CISA Guidance on Critical Infrastructure, PCI compliance evaluation protocols and communication disruptions due to telecom infrastructure failures; and we will seek to facilitate engagement with federal regulators and policymakers to address each concern.”

The payments processing industry is a key piece of America’s “critical infrastructure” and remains committed to ensuring the economy continues to function even as government restrictions limit the number of workers allowed in offices, factories, data centers and other facilities around the country. This includes ensuring that payrolls are distributed, groceries can be purchased and critical medical supplies can be ordered and shipped to first responders and medical professionals on the frontlines of this crisis.

The ATPC is taking the following initial steps to create a coordinated organizational response to supporting payments processing industry needs during this crisis:

  • Included critical Coronavirus insights and discussion during the ATPC Board of Directors Meeting (held virtually on March 25th), with presentations about the ongoing U.S. CARES Act negotiations from Unites States Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), a member of the House Financial Services Committee. And Georgia Lieutenant Governor Jeff Duncan participated in the meeting to answer questions about the state’s response.
  • Providing public policy thought leadership to federal and state government elected officials and regulators, remaining in constant conversation to report on what our members are doing in response to the health crisis.
  • Designated Michael Mills, Chief Strategy Officer for the ATPC, as our main point of contact on the crisis, managing a response plan, communications, and supporting Carolyn Homberger and the COVID-19 Task Force. Michael has Fortune 10 crisis management experience, including serving as Regional Director of Public Affairs for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The ATPC will host its first task force call on April 2nd, and will cover the following topics:

  • Payments processing company responses – group discussion
  • Key Industry Considerations:
    • Regulatory reviews
    • PCI and other industry certifications
    • Unifying requests for continued travel for critical team members at data centers and other locations under “shelter at home” orders
  • Preparation for situations that escalate the current pandemic, including:
    • Infrastructure incident (telecommunications, power, etc.)
    • Serious weather event
    • Industry-wide cybersecurity incident

The ATPC staff will then synthesize the discussion and build a committee roadmap following the meeting. The committee will meet weekly for the foreseeable future, with deliverables to be determined by the group. Visit regularly for the latest COVID-19 Task Force news.