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Friday, January 7, 2022

ETA sets 2022 policy priorities

The Electronic Transactions Association's 2022 Legislative and Regulatory Policy Priorities, published Jan. 7, 2022, in three distinct documents, encourages Canadian and U.S. state and federal lawmakers to craft policies that support innovation. Describing the payments industry as "innovative, dynamic, competitive and highly regulated," the documents share insights on industrywide efforts to make payments safe, secure and financially inclusive.

ETA CEO Jodie Kelley described the association's ongoing dialogues with policymakers as constructive and enlightening. "So much of our engagement with policymakers is educational, explaining how our ecosystem works and how it benefits consumers and merchants," she said. "Our industry moves so fast that we constantly search for current examples and data."

Kelley also noted growing interest in fintech in public and private sectors, stating that sophisticated, broadly deployed technologies are improving the customer experience and reaching underserved markets. "Let's build on that momentum in positive ways," she said.

The voice of payments

As the voice of the payments industry, ETA extends its advocacy beyond the United States and Washington, D.C., to Canada, Kelley noted, to support efforts to strengthen the industry's ability "to provide innovative, secure, and robust ways for consumers to receive, hold and spend their money." This applies across the following disciplines and technologies:

  • Cryptoassets: As cryptoassets gain mainstream adoption, the ETA supports policies that advance its five guiding principles: properly defining cryptoassets, tailoring regulations to participants' risk profiles, ensuring consumer protection, harmonizing with existing regulatory frameworks and encouraging responsible innovation. Additional information is available at www.electran.org/wp-content/uploads/2021-ETA-5-Guiding-Principles-of-CRYPTO.pdf.

  • Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), currently in review by governments around the world, including the United States, deserve thoughtful, deliberate attention to ensure that CBDCs add value to the ecosystem and prevent unintended outcomes. The ETA's seven guiding principles for CBDCs include fostering innovation, providing the right tools for the job, ensuring private sector participation, interoperability, open acceptance, consumer protection and regulation tailored to the participant's risk profile. Additional information is available at www.electran.org/wp-content/uploads/2021-ETA-7-Guiding-Principles-of-CBDC.pdf.

  • Privacy: Balancing data access with consumer privacy has long been a priority for the ETA and its member organizations and is at the core of the public's trust in the payments industry. A strong federal privacy standard that is principles–based will ensure predictability and consistency for consumers. In addition, any privacy regime must also ensure that data can be used to further the industry's robust and effective fraud-protection efforts, the ETA stated.

Citing additional areas of interest, including open banking, buy-now-pay-later, artificial intelligence, patent reform and tax issues, Kelley pointed out that the ETA is working to ensure that "robust consumer protection and innovation that allows consumers and businesses to move money securely and efficiently – continues to thrive."

Characterizing technology as a double-edged sword, Kelley encouraged payments industry stakeholders to join the ETA's educational initiatives and discussions. "Fintechs launch new products and fraudsters get more sophisticated," she said. "That's why it is so important to continually update our risk management and underwriting policies and have ongoing, open dialogues that balance innovation with security."

Complete transcripts of the ETA's priorities are available at the following sites: 

end of article

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