Regulators Sharpening Their Ordinance Knives For New Payments

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Although regulators have never been mainstays of payment facilitators’ holiday card lists, as payments grow increasingly complex, those regulators will become even more ever-present and, candidly, resented.

As state regulators—along with their federal counterparts from the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plus some global regulators—zero in on newer payment methods, their chief focuses will be organizational structure.

Specifically, initial questions will focus on “whether compliance functions are adequately staffed, whether we have enough risk managers looking at all of the pieces of the puzzle and whether the board is involved. We’re starting to see these regulators ask these questions,” said Ellen Berge, law partner at Venable LLP as well as panel leader for the compliance panel at the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC).

Berge discussed these issues during this issue’s edition of the PaymentFacilitator.com’s weekly payments podcast.

Those lines of regulator questions is something “that not a lot of payments companies are focusing on,” Berge said. By the same—no pun intended—token, the questioners are sometimes as unprepared as the questioned.

“The regulators have a large learning curve in this industry,” Berge said in the podcast interview. “It can be very difficult for (regulators) to understand. It can sometimes be a hindrance for companies that are sitting there and facing the regulators and trying to explain something like ‘This wasn’t my job to do this. It was somebody else’s job to do this. We have the technology to do this and somebody else brings the technology piece to do this'” other part.

The podcast runs for only 7 min., 2 seconds and if you expect to have a regulator meeting any time soon, there are few better ways for spend those minutes.

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