Innovation in the payments industry continues to accelerate as both established and emerging companies invest significant resources in the development of new payment systems and technologies. Recognizing the challenge that rapidly-evolving technologies present to legislators, bipartisan groups have been formed in both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives to explore the new technologies, educate other congressional members on issues ranging from data security to consumer protection to access by underserved communities and to otherwise serve as a resource on FinTech issues. On March 19, 2015, four United States Representatives – Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), David Scott (D-Georgia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) – formed a new Congressional Payments Technology Caucus (the “CPTC”) and on April 9, 2015 four United States Senators – Tom Carper (D – Delaware), Gary Peters (D-Michigan), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) formed a new Senate Payments Innovation Caucus (the “PIC”). The announcement of the CPTC from Representative Westmoreland’s office can be found here.
The announcement of the CPTC and the PIC follows a broader trend of increased government interest in understanding the impacts of payments innovation. Recent posts to the paymentlawadvisor site have covered, among other things, the creation of an Emerging Payments Task Force by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the Federal Reserve System’s recommendation regarding the formation of a faster payments task force and a payment security task force to study payment system improvements. The formation of the CPTC and the PIC have received industry support from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), a trade association representing the interests of FinTech companies.