The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent data requests show how regulators are teaming up and provide clues about the near future.
In October 2020, the Bureau announced that it requested data from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square (now Block) about their payments operations, and that it would compare what it learned with research into Chinese fintechs Alipay and WeChat Pay. They asked about data harvesting and monetization, the notion of locking consumers into using their products, and consumer protection.
Then, in December, the Bureau sent detailed data requests to buy now, pay later companies Affirm, AfterPay, Klarna, PayPal, and Zip. In a 16-page request, it asked for detailed information about these companies’ operations, customer bases, and revenue models. It also included specific questions about data harvesting and monetization.
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