Fintech

Financial Technology Association aims to modernize financial regulation

The new trade group recently launched with the support of an impressive founding member roster

A new trade group called the Financial Technology Association (FTA) has recently launched its organization and has some notable founding members including Afterpay, Betterment, Brex, Carta, Figure, Marqeta, Quadpay, Plaid, Ribbit Capital, Wise and Zest AI.

FTA aims to educate stakeholders and support the modernization of financial regulation to “drive greater financial inclusion, equity and opportunity,” according to a news release.

FTA Senior Government Relations Advisor Milan Dalal told Finledger that there’s been a change in leadership in Washington and the fintech industry is maturing. There’s a wide variety of companies that represent different activities in fintech including payments, wealth management, open banking, and others.

“There’s a diverse breadth of issues in the fintech ecosystem, and we want to be part of that conversation,” Dalal said. “Part of that conversation is to help engage with regulators and policymakers about what the fintech ecosystem looks like, how diverse it is and educate them about our policy priorities.”

The trade group says that integrating fintech solutions in the finance system starts with adoption of national policies that recognize a variety of key priorities including safeguarding consumers, promoting financial education and literacy, providing fair and accessible financial services, encouraging responsible and equitable private industry innovation and competition and upgrading the national financial infrastructure, among other goals.

Currently FTA doesn’t have any specific regulatory issues it’s looking at right now, but will look at policy issues as they arise and on a case-by-case basis, Dalal said.

“Our strategy is to let people know who we are, become engaged to have conversations with policymakers and selectively engage on critical regulatory or legislative policy issues as they arise,” Dalal said.

FTA also recently published an introductory paper called “Shaping the Future of Finance” that shows fintech is improving efficiency, accessibility and inclusion, broadening equity among other things.

But FTA isn’t alone in this market, recently the Marketplace Lending Association and Online Lending Policy Institute merged together to form the American Fintech Council, with the aim to advocate for policies that “advance responsible innovation and inclusivity within financial services,” according to a news release.

The American Fintech Council is also stacked with some major fintech companies, with its executive committee composed of companies such as Affirm, Avant, Prosper, SoFi, Varo, UpStart, LendingClub and others, according to its website. Its members include Figure, Equifax and PwC.

There’s also the Online Lenders Alliance that advocates for access to new financial services through “education, communication, collaboration and advocacy with policy makers and opinion leaders,” according to its website. The organization is a center for lending, technology and innovation.

Dalal explained that the FTA definitely welcomes other fintech oriented organizations since “two heads are better than one.” And since the industry is maturing, he thinks it’s “helpful to have additional voices that can engage with policymakers to educate them about the merits of the fintech industry.”

In other related fintech regulatory news, FinLedger recently wrote a deep dive into data aggregation with a focus on regulatory challenges, common standards for data sharing and the transition to APIs.

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