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A seasoned regulatory and compliance attorney, Carlin brings extensive experience representing financial institutions, fintechs, lenders, payment processors, neobanks, virtual currency companies, and mortgage servicers.

On February 15, Massachusetts became the latest state to introduce legislation to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. House Bill (HB) 4456 would create a new chapter to the Massachusetts Code explicitly stating that EWA services offered under the new chapter are not loans or other form of credit or debt, and voluntary tips or gratuities are not interest or finance charges. It further requires EWA providers to be licensed and provide mandatory disclosures to consumers. The bill is pending before the Joint Financial Services Committee.

In this special joint episode of Payments Pros and The Crypto Exchange, Ethan Ostroff, James Kim, and Carlin McCrory discuss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule to supervise large tech companies and other providers of digital wallets and payment apps. The proposed rule asserts that digital assets are “funds” subject to the Dodd-Frank Act and other federal consumer financial laws and regulations, which would expand the CFPB’s supervisory powers to examine companies facilitating crypto and other digital asset transactions.

Recently, three Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry, Mike Flood, and French Hill, sent a joint letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) urging the agency to reopen the comment period and reconsider its November 2023 proposed rule regarding digital consumer payment applications. As discussed here, the Bureau is seeking to amend existing regulations by adding a new section to define larger participants that offer digital wallets, payment applications, and other services to fall within the CFPB’s supervisory scope. The Congressmen urge the CFPB to open the comment period on the proposed rule for an additional 60 days arguing that “[a]s it currently stands, this rule would introduce more regulatory uncertainty into the payment industry, particularly with respect to third-party service providers and digital asset companies.”

As discussed here, in a recent letter, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) outlined the agency’s supervisory priorities for 2024. In this post, we delve deeper into the area of consumer protection oversight.

Recently, Arizona, Kentucky, and Hawaii have jumped on the bandwagon to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. Arizona’s proposed bill makes clear that EWA services are not considered to be loans or money transmissions, and voluntary tips or gratuities are not finance charges. It further requires EWA providers to be licensed, provide mandatory

On January 23, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released a letter outlining its supervisory priorities for the new year. While the organization acknowledged that the credit union system had remained largely stable during 2023, it observed growing signs of financial strain on balance sheets. Specifically, the “rise in interest rate and liquidity risks resulted in an increase in the number of composite CAMELS code 3, 4, and 5 credit unions. Inflation and interest rates are affecting household budgets, which could lead to an increase in credit risk in future quarters.”

As the financial landscape continues to evolve, financial institutions and fintech businesses, including payment processors and money transmitters, are facing increased regulatory scrutiny and heightened consumer expectations. Our dedicated Payments team is at the forefront of these changes, actively addressing the full spectrum of legal challenges in this intricate and ever-evolving sector.

Last month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Assembly Bill 2672, which both prohibits sellers from charging a credit card surcharge greater than what they are charged by the credit card company and requires sellers to clearly post the price of the credit card surcharge. The law will take effect on February 11, 2024.