banking-and-finance

Duo seeks to bridge information divide in fintech industry
Group calls for using data to achieve better credit access

Kelly Thompson Cochran, deputy director of FinRegLab, left, and Melissa Koide, CEO of FinRegLab. The startup research group is credited with drawing attention to fintech's ability to improve Americans' lives. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

When a diverse coalition, including big banks and a civil rights group, this summer called for speedier deployment of cash-flow data to widen Americans’ access to credit, it was a little-known startup research organization that brought them together.

FinRegLab is a new Washington research group led by two women with deep ties to the financial technology industry as well as to Capitol Hill. They are credited with drawing attention to fintech’s ability to improve Americans’ lives. 

Blockchain technology may help streamline the flow of $550 billion dollars this year
Fintech Beat, Ep. 24

Remittances are poised to grow to $550 billion this year, making them the single biggest source of external funding for recipient economies, according to the World Economic Forum. More money is pumped into developing countries this way than by direct investment. But it's often costly and inefficient. Fintech, specifically blockchain technology, may be able to help.

Rise of fintech weakens law to prevent lending discrimination
The number of bank branches with a Community Reinvestment Act obligation to provide loans and other services is falling

The growth of online banking has poked some holes in the Community Reinvestment Act. (Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file photo)

As online banking threatens to make in-person banking at brick-and-mortar branches as archaic as video rental stores, it may do the same to a 1977 law created to counteract decades of underinvestment in minority neighborhoods.

The Community Reinvestment Act was Congress’ response all those years ago to redlining — the practice of discriminatory lending that denied or offered more expensive credit to minorities and the poor and led to urban blight and white flight from city centers.

Fintech Beat explores how Uber is much more than a ride sharing company
Uber meets Fintech, Ep. 23

A man waits for a ride-hailing service at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What is Uber? It's not just a ride share company and definitely more than a technology company. Increasingly, it's a fintech company, too. We speak to the CEO of Uber Payments LLC and Uber's associate counsel to explore the company's identity. 

Local newspapers wait anxiously for pension funding relief
Crucial retirement savings package appears stuck in the Senate

Washington Sen. Patty Murray blames Republicans for holding up the retirement savings package that includes pension relief for local newspapers. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Local newspapers serving communities from Tampa, Florida, to Walla Walla, Washington, say they’re under the gun from a pension funding “cliff” they face next year that will make them have to rapidly catch up on required contributions, exacerbating their well-documented financial decline.

When relief for some 20 publishers passed the House in May on a 417-3 vote as part of sweeping retirement savings legislation, it seemed like a slam dunk that lawmakers would ride to the rescue in time.

Fintech Beat explores the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money
Fintech Beat, Ep. 21

Investors mull blockchain to improve corporate elections, shareholder votes
Move could help boost participation and limit miscounts

The ability to track blockchain ownership in real time could make it ideal for corporation elections. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images file photo)

Blockchain, a technology most closely associated with cryptocurrency, is being explored as the solution to better corporate board elections and shareholder votes, which have been plagued by cases of low participation and high-profile miscounts.

The decentralized, distributed ledger technology gained prominence as the backbone of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because it allows tracking ownership as the tokens change hands. It also provides access and enables verification of pseudonymous information by multiple users in real time. Once entered in the ledger, encrypted “blocks” of information can’t be changed or falsified because the entire network can view the ledger. 

Fintech Beat sits down with the one of the IRS's top crypto cops
Fintech Beat, Ep. 20

The Internal Revenue Service building is pictured in Washington (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Fed’s proposal for faster payments raises question of fraud
‘FedNow’ won’t be available for four years, but how will it handle unauthorized payments?

The Federal Reserve expects to launch a real-time payment service in four years. Fintech experts are already questioning how it will handle fraud. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Federal Reserve’s announcement last month that it would compete with private industry to launch a 24-hour-a-day real-time payment service has fintech experts raising an alarm: How will it handle fraud, which they say is inevitable with any financial system.

The Fed’s real-time gross settlement service, to be known as “FedNow,” is not scheduled to be available for at least four more years. Yet some financial services attorneys are already pondering who should bear the loss if it processes unauthorized payments.

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