Apple, PayPal, Google, and others have teamed up to form a lobbying group aimed at protecting and enabling the growing mPayment industry. The coalition is called Financial Innovation Now (FIN).
As FIN executive director Brian Peters explains, there is a digital transformation taking place in financial services, and the group’s aim “is making sure policy-makers understand that, and they’re comfortable with it, and they don’t apply old rules to new technology.” As 9to5Mac points out, there have already been some stifling, ham-handed attempts to impose unusual regulations on mPayments, as in the case of a state representative’s proposal to require merchants to check the photo identification of shoppers using an mPayment platform at checkout. FIN’s aim is to make sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen going forward.
The coalition could also help to sort out confusion in other quarters. For example, British banks are now warning customers not to store their fingerprint data on others’ mobile devices in case it might be used to illegitimately authorize mPayments – a reasonable request, but one that reflects the complexity of the new digital payments landscape taking shape, and the need for standards and common understanding among various players. FIN could play an important role in setting standards and shaping the discourse around how mPayment systems fit into the overall payments ecosystem going forward.