If you have been following the CFPB recently, you will likely guess that this post cannot be about mortgages. And you would be correct: it pertains to mobile payments. In 2010 the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Atlanta convened the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW), which is comprised of key players in the U.S. mobile payments industry. Given the pace of both regulatory changes and mobile technology adoption, in April of this year a meeting was held between the MPIW, federal and state banking regulators (including the NCUA and CFPB), and the FTC and FCC. The purpose was to discuss regulatory issues pertaining to mobile payments and any current regulatory gaps. You can read the summary of the full report here, but one conclusion stood out above all others to me: “Neither the regulatory agencies nor industry stakeholders see any immediate need for additional regulation[!!!!]” (emphasis and four exclamation marks added).
This is surely a refreshing statement for those of you digging through thousands of pages of mortgage regulations. All snark aside, however, the coordinated approach taken by the regulators with regard to mobile payments should be applauded. With all of the different players involved in potentially overseeing and regulating mobile payments it is a particularly complex and potentially thorny area. It appears that the regulator’s approach is measured and well-rounded. Let’s hope the resulting regulatory landscape is equal to the approach.