The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has convinced innovative finance start-ups BillGuard, Plastyc and Simple to share their anonymised customer data to help identify behaviours and trends.
Created by Dodd-Frank against the will of much of the financial services industry, the CFPB is supposed to champion consumers and give them the information to make informed financial decisions.
It's latest initiative, Project Catalyst, is designed to encourage consumer-friendly innovation and entrepreneurship in markets for financial products and services.
The bureau says it wants to establish lines of communications and engage with innovators to understand how new products work and make sure regulations adapt to the changing market.
It has already struck deals with tech-savvy banking start-ups Simple and Plastyc as well as BillGuard, which gathers information on hidden credit card charges and then alerts users, to use their anonymised data to help better inform policy decisions.
Richard Cordray, director, CFPB, says: "We want to collaborate with innovators seeking to advance consumer-friendly innovation. These collaborations help us better understand what works and does not work to improve life for consumers in the marketplace."
In a blog post explaining Simple's decision to become involved in the project, founder Joshua Reich says that the start-up was conceived as an old-fashioned bank that "could make a profit without misleading or confusing our customers", a concept aligned with the CFPB's mandate.