Curry Calls for Level Playing Field in Payments

Regulated financial institutions bring security and stability to the payments system, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said at an industry event yesterday. He added that regulators are working on measures to hold nonbank payments providers to the same standards that banks meet — a position for which ABA has long advocated.

“Efforts are well underway to bring e-commerce and emerging payments systems deployed by nonbank players under greater regulatory scrutiny,” he said. “Using authority granted by the Dodd-Frank Act, we can ensure a more level playing field and protections for customers of nonbanks.” He added that banks have an “advantage” over nonbank competitors in cybersecurity and anti-money laundering because of regulation and “the industry’s collective interest in protecting the security of the payments system.”

Curry also dismissed conjecture that banks will be bypassed as new payments platforms come on line. “The tendency to underestimate the dynamism of the banking system should be resisted because banks have been the source of so many of the innovative products and technologies of recent years,” he said.