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The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 09, 2023 • Issue 23:10:01

News Briefs

CFPB criticizes big tech over mobile pay apps <- click to read full story

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) expressed concerns over big tech's influence on the mobile payments market, particularly focusing on Apple's iOS and, to a lesser extent, Google Android. CFPB Director Rohit Chopra stated that big tech companies have expanded into the payments sector, potentially exploiting transaction data and traditional financial sector fees. The CFPB found that Apple and Google exert significant influence over popular contactless payment options in the United States. Apple's iOS is on 55 percent of U.S. smartphones, with three in four of the 130 million iPhone users activating Apple Pay. Google Pay is expected to have 35 million users by 2025.

Chopra explained that big tech's regulations impact consumers' ability to use third-party apps for payments, reducing choice and hindering progress toward a more open banking system. The CFPB is working on a new rule to clarify consumers' rights regarding personal financial data as the retail payments system evolves.

ETA digs into policy with industry leaders in DC <- click to read full story

The ETA Fintech Policy Forum held on Sept. 13, 2023, covered various topics, including cryptocurrencies, financial inclusion, identity protection and the role of AI in international commerce. The event, hosted by the Electronic Transactions Association, brought together public and private sector leaders to discuss business-friendly policies. Congressman Darren Soto emphasized the need for a national standard for crypto policies and urged payment leaders to educate lawmakers on technology.

The forum also discussed financial inclusion strategies, focusing on making financial offerings accessible to underserved populations through mobile apps and geolocation technologies. Another panel addressed identity and fraud challenges in the digital world. AI's transformative impact on various industries was highlighted, with a focus on responsible regulatory guidelines. The event underscored the importance of collaboration and responsible innovation in the payments industry.

Intuit amps up competition <- click to read full story

Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, introduced QuickBooks Money, an all-in-one electronic payments and banking solution for small businesses. QuickBooks Money combines two existing services, QuickBooks Checking and QuickBooks Payments, offering invoicing, payment requests, same-day funding and more.

There are no monthly fees or balance requirements. The service targets small businesses that may not need the full suite of QuickBooks accounting tools but require a simplified solution for payment processing and money management.

David Talach, senior vice president at Intuit, stated that QuickBooks Money aims to expand the company's fintech platform's reach and provide more small businesses with cash flow management tools. Future enhancements will include bill pay, in-person payments and lending options, Talach added. This move aligns with Intuit's effort to become a one-stop shop for merchant services, banking and financial management, competing with other fintech firms offering similar bundled solutions.

NY court blasts group of MCA lenders <- click to read full story

The New York State Supreme Court ordered three merchant cash advance (MCA) companies, Richmond Capital Group, Ram Capital Funding, and Viceroy Funding Capital, to repay millions of dollars to thousands of small businesses that took out "predatory" loans, some with effective interest rates far exceeding legal limits. The court ruling, in a case filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, also held the principals of these firms liable for harming small businesses with loans that were "in fact illegal, high-interest loans with astronomical and illegal rates."

The court noted that despite being described as MCAs, these loans were actually "a total sham." Additionally, the court ordered the cancellation of tens of millions of dollars of existing loan agreements, the repayment of late fees, and the termination of any liens or judgments secured against borrowers. The case reflects efforts to protect small businesses from predatory lenders, with some loans carrying annual interest rates of nearly 4,000 percent, in violation of New York's usury laws, which define interest rates exceeding 25 percent as criminal usury.

Similar settlements had been reached between the Federal Trade Commission and some of the involved parties, with judgments and permanent bans on small business lending and debt collection. end of article

This article contains excerpts from news stories recently posted under Breaking Industry News on our homepage. For links to these and other full news stories, please visit www.greensheet.com/breakingnews.php.

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