On February 15, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to a leading payment app seeking clarification of its reimbursement policy for victims of imposter scams. Calling its protocol for reporting fraud and scams “unnecessarily complicated,” the Senators asked the payment app to add more categories of scams for which users can be reimbursed, and to streamline its process for reporting fraud, scams, and unauthorized transactions. The Senators noted that the company’s policy did not make clear which types of scams would qualify for reimbursement or what steps consumers needed to take to exercise their rights under its policy. The Senator’s pressed the payment app to make public whether banks and credit unions are required to reimburse customers who are victims of qualifying imposter scams. The Senators asked for responses to their questions by March 13, 2024.Continue Reading Congress Continues to Pressure Payment Apps to Change their Fraud Policies

On the June 20, the CFPB released its Office of Servicemember “(“OSA”) Affairs Annual Report. This year’s report focuses on the challenges faced by servicemembers and their families when using digital payment apps. As further discussed in a prior post, these digital payment platforms are gaining widespread popularity as substitutes for traditional banking services despite their lack of deposit insurance and lack of information in platform user agreements. The report presented the following findings with respect to servicemember use of digital payment apps:Continue Reading CFPB Report Identifies Issues with Increased Servicemember Use of Digital Payment Apps

On June 1, the CFPB published an issue spotlight and a consumer advisory detailing the risks associated with storing funds on digital payment apps, particularly in the event of a platform’s financial distress. Specifically, the issue spotlight presented the following findings with respect to consumer funds stored on payment apps:Continue Reading CFPB Highlights Risks of Storing Funds in Digital Payment Apps

On October 18, 2022, the CFPB sued a software company that manages online payment platforms claiming that it utilized unlawful enrollment practices to cause unknowing consumers to automatically enroll in annual subscriptions. According to the CFPB, the software company generated over $300 million in fees from approximately three million consumers through engagement in deceptive acts and “dark pattern” techniques in violation of the CFPA and EFTA by:
Continue Reading CFPB Sues Payment Platform as the Crack Down on Dark Patterns Continues

Recently, the CFPB released a report outlining the challenges and risks inherent in the rapid evolution of the payment ecosystem, with a particular focus on emerging uses cases involving “super apps,” buy now, pay later (BNPL), and embedded payments, as well as their implications for consumers. The report notes that these changes create more opportunities for companies to aggregate and monetize consumer financial data, and for large players to dominate consumers’ financial and commercial lives.
Continue Reading CFPB Warns of Consumer Risk Over New Payment Products, Foreshadows Supervision of BNPLs

On July 27, CFPB Director Chopra was interviewed in multiple publications, here and here, about, among other topics, how the CFPB could seek to help mortgage borrowers strained by the Federal Reserve’s battle against inflation and how the agency is looking at cryptocurrency. Below are some of the more important updates from the interviews.
Continue Reading CFPB’s Chopra Has Payments and Crypto In Focus

On January 18, the CFPB filed a proposed final judgment against an Illinois-based third-party payment processor and its founder (collectively, “defendants”), which ceased operations almost three years ago, settling claims that the defendants facilitated payments for telemarketing fraudsters targeting seniors.
Continue Reading CFPB Bans Payment Processor for Engaging in Fraudulent Practices

Last week, the CFPB issued a series of orders to collect information on the business practices of six large technology companies operating payments systems.  The Bureau claims that the information will help better understand how these firms use personal payments data and manage data access to users so the Bureau can ensure adequate consumer protection.  The orders were issued pursuant to Section 1022(c)(4) of the CFPA, which authorizes the CFPB to order participants in the payments market to turn over information to help the Bureau monitor for risks to consumers and to publish aggregated findings that are in the public interest.  The CFPB notes that the development of new products and business models to meet consumer demands for online commerce and electronic payments during the pandemic “present new risks to consumers and to a fair, transparent, and competitive marketplace.”
Continue Reading CFPB to Tech Companies: Submit Payment System Information