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CFPB to Examine Mobile Payments

The regulatory agency said it is going to examine the potential harm for consumers around mobile payments.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said yesterday it will be keeping a closer eye on mobile payments products to ensure "that consumers’ rights are protected regardless of their method of payment."

Marla Blow, assistant director for card and payments markets at the regulatory agency, issued a written statement to the House Financial Services Subcommittee indicating the CFPB will be working in conjunction with other agencies in overseeing the mobile payments market.

[See Also: A 21st Century Agency: Q&A With CFPB's Chris Willey ]

"Innovation in mobile payments may yield numerous, significant benefits for consumers," she wrote. "At the same time, it may present unique challenges. We are engaging with innovators to understand how these new technologies may transform consumer finance so that we can determine how our regulatory structure intersects with these changes."

Blow further wrote that the CFPB will be "closely monitoring" new developments in the mobile payments marketplace and consumer use patterns. She indicated that the agency will be studying both the advantages and potential consumer pitfalls that mobile payments could create.

These are very real opportunities and very real challenges," she wrote. "In order to best set the stage for consumer-friendly innovation, we need to examine existing regulations to determine if there are barriers to successful mobile payment systems. We also need to see if regulations should be updated to address new concerns. And we need to meet with new market entrants and make sure market participants understand their compliance obligations under federal consumer financial protection laws. These are necessarily ongoing activities that will be repeated as the industry develops and mobile payments begin to take hold."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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