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Bank groups spell out payments industry concerns

Payments Dive

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) needs to protect consumers from big technology companies eager to make inroads in the payments processing business, according to comments filed this week with the agency by two bank industry trade groups.

The American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) called on the CFPB in a joint Dec. 7 letter to “ensure consumer protections are applied consistently to all companies offering payments products and financial services, including big tech”  as part of an investigation ordered in October by CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.

Chopra sent 50 detailed questions to the big tech companies Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Square and PayPal about their “products, plans, and practices.” The agency also plans to study the payments businesses of Chinese tech companies, including WeChat Pay and Alipay. Responses from the companies are due to the CFPB on December 15. 

“Little is publicly known about how Big Tech companies will exploit their payments platforms,” according to an Oct. 21 statement from Chopra,  who could have asked the companies to provide the information voluntarily but chose not to do so.