Financial Privacy & Cybersecurity

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?

Under the leadership of its new Director, Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) appears poised to take a more active supervisory and enforcement posture, including with respect to Fintech – a sector that has not historically been a focus for the agency.  Since taking office on October 12th, Director Chopra has

Weekly Fintech Focus

  • FinCEN and OFAC issue advisories on handling ransomware attacks, putting victims and those who help victims pay cybercriminals on notice that ransomware payments are risky and could result in violations of U.S. financial and sanctions laws.
  • California signs into law its new consumer protection law, creating an expanded agency and giving it new enforcement and licensing powers.

Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of October 2, 2020

U.S. Developments

Federal Reserve to Build Real-Time Payments System

After years of speculation, the Federal Reserve announced this week it will create a real-time payments system, which it expects to be live by 2023 or 2024. The system, the FedNow Service, was announced by Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard during a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. During the announcement, Brainard highlighted the strong support for the project the Federal Reserve received during its public comment period, noting that 90 percent of the comments called for the creation of the system. The system will allow near-instant transfers of funds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between depository institutions eligible to hold accounts at Federal Reserve Banks.  Eligible depository institutions will also be able to designate a service provider or agent to submit or receive payment instructions on the institutions’ behalf. The FedNow Service will be designed for payments of $25,000 or less.
Continue Reading Fintech Week in Review: Week of August 9, 2019

On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) issued a proposed interpretation of the term “actual delivery” as used in the provision of the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) that grants the CFTC explicit authority to oversee the marketplace for “retail commodity transactions.”  This is the second blog posting in a

Fund groups face disruptive developments, as advances in financial technology, often called fintech, continue at an ever more rapid pace. Even as new efficiencies and opportunities blossom, regulators have pushed financial firms to recognize the dangers of technological failures. To help prepare investment management firms for changes ushered in by fintech, we offer our primer

On November 14, 2016, the SEC convened four panels of individuals at the forefront of the FinTech industry to address the rapid growth of recent innovations in FinTech. Panelists addressed how these innovations impact four main areas: investment advisory services; trading, settlement, and clearance activities; capital formation; and investor protection. The over-arching theme of the forum was the overlay of financial regulation in the rapidly-changing securities industry and how regulation needs revision to better address emerging technologies. Below we have summarized the four panels and the key take-aways.
Continue Reading SEC Hosts First Ever FinTech Forum