Financial Innovation Now

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

Rival technology powerhouses Apple, Google, Amazon, Intuit and PayPal have joined forces to form an advocacy group known as Financial Innovation Now, focused on enabling technological change within the finance industry. The group will work with policy-makers and key stakeholders to promote policies and regulations that encourage greater innovation in the financial services sector as well as ensuring that policy-makers understand the advantages that technology can bring to the industry.

The coalition has identified key areas through which it will aim to drive policy development such as trust and safety in financial services, overcoming barriers to financial inclusion, faster payment clearing systems, the online lending marketplace and financial smart phone applications. The group aim to encourage policies that:

  • promote strengthening security and authentication for users of financial services to minimise the occurrence of fraud and cyber-hacking, whilst still enabling innovation;
  • facilitate the use of technology in order to breakdown traditional barriers and provide greater access to basic financial services for the two billion people in the world who currently lack access;
  • establish effective criteria for the development of faster real-time payment clearing systems that will allow multiple payment networks to operate collaboratively and efficiently;
  • encourage the further development of online lending to allow consumers and small businesses to access capital more readily, whilst still providing adequate consumer protections; and
  • empower consumers and small businesses to access their financial accounts via various smartphone applications without excessive surcharges that discriminate between different applications.

The group is based in Washington and will focus on regulatory regimes in the United States. However, other Regulators including in Australia and the UK are actively monitoring the US and Financial Innovation Now may play a key role in influencing policy development in globally.

The Financial Innovation Now website can be found here.

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