On April 4, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new report, titled “Banking in Video Games and Virtual Worlds” (Report), that examines the growth of financial transactions in online video games and virtual worlds. The CFPB has previously signaled the expansion of its monitoring capabilities to new markets, and this Report continues that expansion to the gaming industry. 

According to the Report, the CFPB is monitoring non-traditional markets where financial products and services may be offered, including the use of virtual currencies in games and virtual worlds in response to “concerning issues regarding gaming markets,” such as financial losses (due to theft, scams, and other criminal activity), fraud and money laundering, and the collection and use of consumer data by gaming companies. The Report also notes that there may be increased risks to consumers, specifically children, within the gaming industry. Gaming companies can use the insights from the Report to review their own policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws.

This update summarizes the Report’s key findings, describes the risks and trends identified by the CFPB, which are likely to inform the CFPB’s market monitoring activities, and provides key takeaways for companies doing business in this space to consider going forward.Continue Reading CFPB Issues New Report Examining Financial and Privacy Risks to Consumers in Video Gaming Marketplaces: What Now?

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • A buy-now pay-later company faces a potential class action alleging it hid the risk of overdraft and NSF fees from its users.
  • Leaders of the CFPB’s Fair Lending Office published an article encouraging the use of special purpose credit programs to effect racial justice.
  • The FDIC is opening applications for a tech sprint to reach the unbanked.
  • The FSB responds to comments on its recent discussion paper related to outsourcing and third-party service providers.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of June 25, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • Federal financial regulators extend the deadline for responding to its request for information about financial institutions’ use of AI.
  • The CFPB issued FAQs on electronic funds transfers under EFTA and Regulation E to address issues related to fraud and private network rules.
  • The Federal Reserve proposed a rule to update the Durbin Amendment/Reg. II to ensure two debit networks are available, including for card-not-present transactions.
  • The Federal Reserve proposed a rule to apply Regulation J to FedNow transactions and to establish rules for the FedNow Service.
  • CSBS seeks comment on its proposed nationwide licensing framework for MSBs.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of June 11, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • FDIC discusses its fair lending activities in the most recent edition of its Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights.
  • US and EU engage in a joint regulatory forum to discuss international coordination on financial regulation and operational resiliency.
  • BCBS publishes its principles for operational resilience for banks, including a focus on third-party outsourcing relationships with financial technology companies.
  • Financial regulators seek comment on model risk management guidance.
  • CSBS seeks comment on a revamp of the nationwide licensing system.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of April 16, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • In response to pandemic challenges, card networks agree to delay merchant fee hikes that would have taken place next month.
  • E-commerce activities continue to grow and are projected to reach $1 trillion in revenue by next year.
  • The BIS publishes a paper urging a global rethink on how to regulate big tech companies engaged in financial services to address systemic risk.
  • Fintech trade groups launch to address issues like financial inclusion and regulatory approaches to fintech engagement in the financial services industry.
  • Regulators issue the first enforcement action directly referencing a bank’s role in serving marijuana-related business customers.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of March 19, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • The UK published a report calling for the urgent regulation of BNPL products.
  • The OCC postponed publication of the Fair Access to Financial Services rule.
  • The Acting Director of the CFPB is putting a renewed emphasis on issues of racial equity with a push to enforce fair lending violations.
  • The new administration will take a fresh look at the recently finalized FHA disparate impact rule.
  • The Federal Reserve announced that its FedNow RTP service will be launched sooner than expected.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of February 5, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • FDIC issues an updated brokered deposit rule, creating new exceptions relevant to fintechs working with bank partners.
  • FDIC issues a final rule clarifying its expectations for ILC charter applications.
  • CFPB issues an advisory opinion on Special Purpose Credit Programs to clarify how creditors can offer these programs to disadvantaged groups.
  • CFPB grants access to its compliance assistance sandbox to an earned wage access company, which meets the CFPB’s recent guidance on such programs.
  • PayPal wins the first round in its efforts to throw out aspects of the CFPB’s prepaid rule, resulting in a court throwing out certain mandatory disclosures and the 30-day waiting period for digital wallets.
  • New York enacts second-in-nation law requiring disclosures for commercial purpose loans.
  • The CSBS goes to court again to stop the OCC from issuing a charter to a fintech company.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of January 8, 2021

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • House Financial Services Committee sets priorities it hopes the incoming Biden administration will enact.
  • First major bank prohibits use of its credit cards for buy-now-pay-later transactions.
  • CFPB issues another no action letter for unsecured, closed-end installment lending model with AI underwriting.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of December 11, 2020

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • FTC files suit against a mobile app that advertised high-interest deposit accounts and easy access to customer funds but failed to deliver.
  • OCC proposes rule to ensure fair access to financial services and to codify the reversal of policies imposed under Operation Choke Point.
  • CFPB issues an advisory opinion clarifying that certain earned wage access services are not credit under Regulation Z.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of December 4, 2020

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • The CFPB issues an ANPR to engage in a rulemaking process on consumer access to financial records under Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank.
  • NYDFS expects regulated financial institutions to assess climate change risks.
  • Federal banking regulators look to codify that supervisory guidance is not binding.
  • The OCC issues its “true lender” final rule.
  • The effective date of the recent HUD disparate impact rule is enjoined by district court.
  • Senate Democrats introduce a bill to prohibit discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for banks and other financial institutions.
  • Quarles discusses the FSB’s growing concern with nonbanks in light of their interconnectedness with the financial system and vulnerabilities manifested during the pandemic.
  • The FDIC finds a shrinking unbanked population and encourages further innovation in banking technologies to create a more inclusive banking system.
  • Digital bank, its API provider, and its licensed bank settles claims related to system service outage.
  • SoFi obtains conditional approval for its national bank charter.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of October 23 and October 30, 2020