Nonbank Payment Provider CFPB Supervision

Building on its director’s longstanding focus on fintech and tech-platform companies, the CFPB has proposed to extend its supervisory reach to nonbank providers of general-use digital payments services.  The Bureau’s definition of these terms is broad and thus would bring almost all covered nonbank services into its ambit with considerable potential for subsequent demands for significant operational change along with heightened legal and reputational risk.  The extent to which the Bureau pursues the ends enabled by this proposal remains to be seen, but it could set high roadblocks restricting the network-effect benefits major tech-platform companies have long enjoyed not only due to real and perceived regulatory exceptions, but also by virtue of their financial and commercial activities.