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Fintech and Payments State of Play

Fintech and Payments State of Play

Whether you are trying to manage your checking account, invest for retirement, or take out a mortgage, doing so has never been easier, thanks to the variety of channels you have for doing so and the ease of access digital platforms provide. The intersection of technology and financial services has created countless opportunities to increase access and efficiency across the financial services ecosystem, but these new products and platforms have inherent risks as well. New products and emerging technologies are being incorporated into almost all aspects of the financial services ecosystem, creating an ever-evolving regulatory landscape attempting to keep pace. The majority of the financial services regulatory regime was enacted long before most of the fintech products in the market today existed. Due to this, there is often uncertainty or mismatches when trying to apply the existing regulatory framework to emerging technologies. What often results is a push-and-pull scenario in Washington where regulators and elected officials position themselves somewhere between protecting the consumer at all costs and allowing space for innovation before a regulatory response. In this effort to balance consumer protection and innovation, how to regulate fintech is a complex and constant conversation in Washington.

The Biden Administration has arguably skewed more towards the prioritization of consumer protections, but it isn’t always a blanket classification by party. Currently, most of the congressional activity, especially among House Financial Services Committee (HSFC) Republicans, is in response to activity at the various regulatory agencies. Below we provide updates into ongoing workstreams and topics of debate in