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A legal loophole allows certain financial institutions and their parent companies to skirt regulatory oversight, endangering both consumers and the economy, according to the Independent Community Bankers of America. And on March 11, 2019, the organization issued a white paper setting forth why that loophole should be closed.
The paper, Industrial Loan Companies: Closing the Loophole to Avert Consumer and Systemic Harm, asks the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to impose an immediate moratorium on approving deposit insurance for these companies and urges Congress to close the ILC loophole permanently, the ICBA stated in a press release announcing the paper's publication. ILCs are nontraditional U.S. financial institutions that provide niche financial services, including accepting deposits and making consumer and commercial loans.
Financial analysts are debating the sustainability of interactive video banking as a tool for remote deposit capture (RDC). Some experts call the service a bridge technology; others say the technology is serving underbanked populations. Both proponents and naysayers agree a supportive communications infrastructure and strong security posture are critical to success. Gene Pranger is credited with introducing the Interactive Teller Machine, an early iteration of video banking. He subsequently expanded the platform by launching POPio Mobile Video Cloud, making the service remotely accessible on mobile devices.
The Federal Reserve Board disclosed March 14, 2019, that it will invite select financial institutions and payments industry stakeholders to participate in its seventh triennial Federal Reserve Payments Study. The independent research, to be conducted by McKinsey & Co. and Blueflame Consulting LLC, will separately survey banks and processors to assess banking and payment card processing trends. The study's executive sponsor, Mary Kepler, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said the Federal Reserve will publish aggregate estimates, and individual survey data will remain strictly confidential.
Merchant acquiring is shaping up as a battle of the titans with this week's news that Fidelity Information Services is merging with Worldpay Inc. The combination is valued at $43 billion in stock and cash to Worldpay shareholders, which works out to a 14 percent premium over Worldpay's share price, said Thomas McCrohan, managing director of financial technology and payments at the research and analytics firm Mizuho Americas.
News of the FIS-Worldpay combination comes on the heels of Fiserv's acquisition of leading acquirer First Data Corp. It also comes less than two years after Vantiv paid $10.6 billion for Worldpay Group plc and rebranded the combined entity as Worldpay Inc.
On the heels of news about Worldpay's pending merger with FIS comes word that Worldpay has become the first acquirer to support Amazon Pay for its merchants. Now U.S. merchants can add Amazon Pay as an accepted payment option for online customers, using Worldpay as both gateway provider and acquirer, the company stated.
Amazon Pay allows consumers to pay for purchases at participating online businesses using the payment information they keep on file with Amazon. It also offers the convenience of one-click purchasing, which consumers find appealing.
Players in multiple industries were stunned on March 25, 2019, when Apple Inc. unveiled a revamped technology suite to a rapt audience of developers, sales channel partners, employees and fans. A series of presentations illustrated the multiple ways in which Apple is rethinking media, gaming and, yes, even merchant services.
Richard Crone, CEO at Crone Consulting LLC, observed the unveiling and concluded Apple had curated best-in-class payment products and services while leaving friction and pain points behind. Apple Pay is leveraging both brand identity and market share, Crone noted, adding that by introducing Apple Card and Apple Pay Cash, the company is doubling down on its usual strategy for superior value chain control.
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