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Keith’s experience representing clients in the financial services industry as a litigation, compliance, regulatory, investigations (internal and regulatory), and enforcement attorney spans 20 years. Keith represents clients against government regulators (CFPB, FTC, SEC, CFTC), industry regulators (FINRA), and private litigants in federal courts, state courts, and before arbitration and administrative law panels in the financial services industry.

In this episode of Payments Pros, host Keith Barnett discusses the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit and $10 million settlement against the payment facilitator, BlueSnap. On May 1, the FTC filed a complaint alleging that BlueSnap and its executives aided and abetted a debt relief service provider’s violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, along with violating Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently issued a revised Unemployment Insurance Program Letter to clarify how state workforce agencies should deliver unemployment benefits payments to consumers. This new guidance integrates recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) research on so-called “junk fees” and other consumer risks associated with public benefits and prepaid cards.

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued an “interpretive rule,” subjecting “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) transactions to provisions of Regulation Z applicable to “credit cards.” Among other things, this classification would require BNPL and other lenders to extend many of the same legal protections and rights to consumers that apply to traditional credit cards, including the rights to dispute charges and demand refunds for returned products, and, potentially, receive periodic statements. The Bureau claims its authority to issue this interpretive rule — in lieu of a formal rulemaking — stems from the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z, and its general authority to issue guidance as set forth in § 1022(b)(1) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.

On April 19, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill (HB) 2560 to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. HB 2560 enacts the Earned Wage Access Services Act that requires EWA providers to be licensed by the state bank commissioner and comply with certain disclosure rules. Kansas follows Nevada, Missouri, and Wisconsin in enacting EWA legislation.

In this episode of Payments Pros, Carlin and Keith welcome back Jordan Bennett, Nacha’s senior director of network risk management, for a two-part series on the newly approved rules designed to combat credit push fraud. Credit push fraud has been on the rise, and Nacha released a risk management framework to increase awareness and mitigate such frauds.

On March 22, a group of 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia (participating states) entered an interim consent order against Sigue Corporation, a licensed money transmitter corporation, ordering it to cease operations due to deteriorating financial conditions. Sigue reported approximately $4.9 million in outstanding liabilities related to regulated money transmission transactions originating in the participating states and New York. The corporation is currently in the process of surrendering its money transmission licenses and winding-down.

Can remittance transfer providers be held liable under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) when marketing about the speed and cost of their services? According to a March 27 Circular issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), the answer to that question is yes, if the marketing is deceptive. Specifically, according to the CFPB, providers may be liable under the CFPA for deceptive marketing practices if they market: remittance transfers as being delivered within a certain time frame when transfers actually take longer; remittance transfers as “no fee” when in fact the provider charges fees; promotional fees or promotional exchange rates for remittance transfers without sufficiently clarifying when an offer is temporary; and remittance transfers as “free” if they are not in fact free.

On March 18, Nacha, the organization that governs the ACH network, announced that its members approved a new set of rules aimed at reducing the incidence of frauds, such as business email compromise (BEC), that exploit credit-push payments. These rules establish a base level of ACH payment monitoring for all parties in the ACH Network, excluding consumers. While these rules do not alter the liability for ACH payments, they do, for the first time, assign a defined role to receiving depository financial institutions (RDFIs) in monitoring the ACH payments they receive.

In a recent speech at the Financial Data Exchange Global Summit, Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), discussed the current state of open banking in the United States and emphasized the importance of standard-setting organizations in the transition. He noted that these organizations play a crucial role in ensuring that the system is open and interoperable but warned against the potential of standard-setting to be used in an anti-competitive manner to benefit dominant firms.