Conference of State Bank Supervisors

The Act aims to modernize and streamline state regulation of money transmitters while promoting innovation and consumer protection.

By Parag Patel, Mik Bushinski, and Deric Behar

More than a dozen US states have enacted the Money Transmission Modernization Act (MTMA) in whole or in part, while several others have introduced bills to implement some or all of the model legislation that seeks to establish a uniform set of regulatory standards applicable to money transmitters at the state level.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a trade association of state financial services regulators that regulate money transmitters (among other providers of financial services), finalized the MTMA in August 2021 after receiving feedback from industry stakeholders.

The MTMA aims to reduce regulatory burden for money transmitters that operate in many states, streamline regulatory efforts and coordination among state regulators of money transmitters, encourage innovation by money transmitters, and protect small businesses and consumers that rely on money transmitters. The potential impact from more uniform and streamlined licensing across states is significant: in 2021, money transmitters handled $4.9 trillion, of which 99.8% was transmitted by companies licensed in multiple states, according to the CSBS.

A new Payments Charter could enable entities to engage in payments-related activities on a nationwide basis, rather than by state.

By Alan W. Avery, Todd Beauchamp, Pia Naib, Loyal T. Horsley, and Charles Weinstein

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) newly appointed Acting Comptroller, Brian P. Brooks, is already advancing the agency’s fintech-focused modernization initiatives and taking steps to fulfill his promise to support technological innovation in the banking industry. On June 25, 2020, while speaking on the American Bankers Association’s podcast, Brooks announced that the OCC will introduce a new Payments Charter 1.0 (Payments Charter) this fall that will serve as a federal alternative to obtaining state money transmitter licenses. That announcement came less than a month after the OCC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) requesting public comment regarding the OCC’s regulations relating to “digital activities” of national banks and federal savings associations (FSAs). The ANPR was issued in an effort to ensure that such regulations continue to evolve with industry developments. Comments in response to the ANPR are due August 3, 2020.