The Government Update
is issued by the Innovative Payments Association twenty times a year as a service to members.
Editors: Brian Tate, President and CEO, IPA; Ben Jackson, COO, IPA; Grant Hannah, Director of Government Relations, IPA; Eli Rosenberg, Partner, Baird Holm LLP; and Gray Derrick, Partner, Baird Holm LLP.
Please address comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IPA Podcast: Is Green Dot the Model for Fintech Evolution?
As the fintech industry continues to innovate, one of the big questions is where does it go from here?
The future direction of the industry may be best represented by a company that has gone through its own evolution. Green Dot is one of the original Fintechs. It started with prepaid cards sold mostly through retail and has since evolved into a leader in the digital bank space. Its change from a prepaid card program manager to digital banking company could foreshadow the future.
In this episode, we talk with Greg Quarles, president of Green Dot Bank, about how the company has evolved to work with tech partners like Apple, Google, and Uber. We also discuss the advantages of having a bank charter, and why other fintechs will need to consider adding products like lending if they want to thrive in the long run.
FEDERAL RESERVE (THE FED)
IPA Letter & Federal Reserve Board Comment Period Extension on Proposed Changes to Regulation II
On June 11, the IPA submitted a letter to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing issued by the Board and published in the Federal Register on May 13, 2021 (the "Proposed Rule"). While the Proposed Rule has an initial deadline for comments of July 12, 2021, the letter requests that the Board extend the deadline for an additional 30-day period.
The Federal Reserve Board subsequently announced on June 21 that it will extend until August 11, 2021, the comment period for its proposed changes to Regulation II.
The IPA is still working with our members to finalize our larger comment letter to the Fed on the proposed rule and will have a revised draft to share soon. In the meantime, the IPA extension request can be found here.
CONSUMER FIANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB)
CFPB Issues Spring 2021 Rulemaking Agenda
On June 11, the CFPB issued published their Spring 2021 Agenda as part of the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that the Bureau is currently pursuing under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent Director. The permanent Director’s changes to the regulatory agenda will be reflected in the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda.
A brief summary of the Bureau’s planned regulatory activity can be found below. The full Agenda can be accessed here.
CFPB Planned Regulatory Activities:
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE COPORATION (FDIC)
FDITECH Launches Tech Sprint to Reach More Unbanked People
On June 16, the FDIC announced a ‘tech sprint’ entitled, “Breaking down Barriers: Reaching the Last Mile of Unbanked U.S. Households”, which is designed to explore new technologies and techniques that would help expand the capabilities of banks to meet the needs of unbanked individuals and households. This tech sprint will challenge participants to identify better resources and tools to help banks get unbanked households into the banking system and to keep them banked. Banks, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, private sector companies, and others are invited to participate.
Additional information can be found in the email below and on the FDIC’s website.
Democratic House Members Send Letter to JP Morgan Chase on Overdraft
On June 16, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) sent a letter to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon urging him to refund overdraft fees that JPM charged to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to stop charging these fees going forward.
The full letter can be accessed here.
Waters Announces Digital Assets Working Group
On June 16, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced that she has organized a Digital Assets Working Group of Democratic Members. According to the Committee, the Digital Assets Working Group will focus on making sure there is responsible innovation in the cryptocurrency and digital asset space. Further, Members are meeting regularly with experts and government officials to learn about the challenges and promise of digital assets. Finally, Members plan to work together on legislation and policy solutions on such matters as cryptocurrency regulation, the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, and the possible development of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency.
Additional information can be found here.
Below is latest intelligence the IPA has received on recent activity on Capitol Hill:
New Jersey Senate Bill 3498 Favorably Reported from Committee
On June 16, the New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee amended and favorably reported Senate Bill 3498 (Gift Cards). Updated bill text can be found here and an updated summary can be found below. In addition, the IPA sent our letter of opposition, which had been previously submitted to the bill’s sponsor, to the full Committee in advance of the hearing.
SB 3498 Summary
Requires that gift card issuers:
New Federal Laws
Pending Federal Bills
H.R.963 - Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act
Summary: This bill prohibits a pre-dispute arbitration agreement from being valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute.
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law on 04/23/2021.
Sponsor: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
H.R. 1711 – To amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to direct the Office of Community Affairs to identify causes leading to, and solutions for, under-banked, un-banked, and underserved consumers, and for other purpose
Summary: This bill would direct the CFPB to conduct research on barriers to financial inclusion and identify hurdles under- and un-banked consumers. It would also require the Bureau to identify best practices to increase participation in the financial system and included a reporting requirement.
Status: Passed/agreed to in House on 5/18/21. Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on 5/19/21.
Sponsor: Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
H.R. 1996 – SAFE Banking Act
Summary: This bill would allow marijuana-related businesses in states with some form of legalized marijuana and established regulatory structures to access the banking and payments system.
Status: Passed/agreed to in House on 4/19/21. Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on 4/20/21.
Sponsor: Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
H.R. 3968 - Municipal IDs Acceptance Act
Summary: This bill would require that the banking regulators update their guidance on Customer Identification Programs to state that an identification card issued by a municipality may be used by a bank to verify the identity of a customer, if such identification card enables the bank to form a reasonable belief that the bank knows the true identity of the customer.
Status: Introduced and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services on 6/17/21. Scheduled for mark up on 6/23/21.
Sponsor: Rep. Richie Torres (D-NY)