The Financial Technology Association (FTA), a new trade group formed by leaders of the technology-centered financial services industry, today announced the launch of its organization and the publication of its introductory paper, “Shaping the Future of Finance.”
FTA will educate stakeholders and support the modernization of financial regulation to drive greater financial inclusion, equity and opportunity. Founding FTA members include Afterpay, Betterment, Brex, Carta, Figure, Marqeta, Quadpay, Plaid, Ribbit Capital, Wise and Zest AI.
“FTA looks forward to engaging with the new Administration and Congress in order to help solve outstanding financial services challenges faced by many Americans, including a lack of access to fair and accessible products and financial opportunities,” said Milan Dalal, FTA Senior Government Relations Advisor. “The fintech industry has an important story to tell and looks forward to working with policymakers to protect consumers and advance responsible innovation.”
FTA believes the successful integration of financial technology (“fintech”) solutions in the American financial system starts with the adoption of national policies that recognize the importance of responsible innovation and encompass a coherent vision on key priorities, which include:
• Safeguarding consumers and promoting financial education and literacy;
• Providing fair, accessible, and transparent financial services to consumers, including marginalized and underserved communities;
• Championing the role of the U.S. and its norms in the global financial ecosystem;
• Encouraging responsible and equitable private sector innovation and competition; and,
• Further upgrading the national financial infrastructure.
“Technology-driven innovation is transforming the way we offer, access, and benefit from financial services and markets in the United States,” said Daniel Gorfine, FTA Senior Policy Advisor. “This organization will focus on proactively shaping regulations, policy frameworks, and public understanding in order to safeguard consumers and advance the development of trusted, digital financial markets and services.”
FTA’s introductory paper demonstrates that fintech companies are improving efficiency and transparency, broadening equity, access and inclusion, reducing costs, and increasing choice for consumers and businesses by using internet and mobile platforms, machine learning, automation, and other modern technologies to deliver financial products and services.
“These advances are coming at a critical time for the American economy,” said Gorfine. “Millions remain underbanked or underserved, income and wealth inequality continues to grow, and small businesses seek to rebuild from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In its introductory paper, FTA outlined its key policy tracks for the US financial system, which are unified by a “north star” concept: the idea that safeguarding, empowering, and advancing consumer and end-user interests should drive policy formulation. Good policy should provide consumer protections, while fostering business model innovation that can deliver access to safe, inclusive, low-cost, and equitable products and services.
These policy tracks are as follows:
• Modernizing financial regulatory frameworks, charters, and licenses to reflect the current state of technology-driven financial services and to anticipate its further evolution.
• Rationalizing and supporting federal and state regulatory frameworks to craft a coherent vision of federalism in the context of modern financial regulation.
• Facilitating fintech partnerships with traditional financial institutions and encouraging the safe adoption of consumer-and-market-enhancing technologies.
• Expanding ownership, responsibly increasing financial market accessibility, and increasing long-term investment opportunities to improve financial health, outcomes, and security.
• Supporting innovation in regulatory oversight and compliance, including through the adoption of forward-leaning regulatory tools and technologies.