Earlier this week, our Firm announced that, effective January 1, 2018, our Firm would merge with the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.  Although this merger will benefit many practice groups at our Firm, I am particularly excited about the fact that Lindquist & Vennum has several lawyers who focus on consumer financial services (most importantly, payment systems) and bank regulation.  Although the merger will not be effective until the beginning of next year, I have invited the Lindquist lawyers who practice in those areas to write guest blogs between now and the end of this year on important developments of interest to our readers.  To that end, I am very pleased that Amy Lauck has accepted my invitation and has written her first guest blog on a very important paper issued by the Federal Reserve earlier this week pertaining to payment system improvements.  Several of us have known Amy for many years and have greatly admired the work that she has done in the consumer financial services area, particularly with respect to prepaid cards, mobile banking and payment systems.