In a new comment letter, FTA reiterated its call on the Federal Reserve to expand access to its services for technology-based payments companies
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Technology Association (FTA) today submitted a comment letter in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s supplemental request on proposed guidelines for access to master accounts and services. In the letter, FTA supported the Federal Reserve Board’s effort to clarify its approach to reviewing the application of banking entities for account access but urged the Board to avoid an overly rigid approach that deters new market entrants.
FTA also called on the Federal Reserve Board to expand access to its services for technology-based payments companies, arguing that doing so would increase innovation and competition and lower costs for consumers. Earlier this year, FTA CEO Penny Lee argued in Marketwatch that a bipartisan mix of policymakers agreed that facilitating fintech access to Federal Reserve services would benefit consumers and small-and-medium-sized businesses.
“It’s time to modernize Fed account access standards to reflect innovation in the marketplace and meet the needs of consumers,” said Penny Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Technology Association. “We urge the Federal Reserve to level the playing field so that consumers can benefit from lower costs and faster, responsible services.”
In its comment letter, FTA endorsed the Federal Reserve Board’s risk-based three-tiered framework to review account applications but urged the Fed to revisit its risk assessments based on ongoing engagement and understanding of different chartering and oversight regimes. Furthermore, FTA suggested that the Federal Reserve Board engage in periodic reviews of the existing three tiers to determine whether entities should move up or down based on real-world learnings. Finally, FTA urged the Federal Reserve Board to avoid imposing duplicative, burdensome, or non-statutory obligations that would stifle innovation.
FTA also reiterated its call on the Federal Reserve to expand access to its services for financial technology companies. Under current rules, only depository institutions can access a Federal Reserve master account, the most seamless and frictionless way for a provider to offer payments services. Federal Reserve rules essentially force innovative payments companies to become lenders to access Fed services, passing on the cost to consumers.
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) champions the transformative role of financial technology for American consumers, businesses, and the economy. Representing industry leaders, FTA elevates fintech’s power to increase competition and drive financial innovation through responsible products and services. As our members’ voice in Washington, FTA advocates for the modernization of regulation to support greater access to financial services.