Consumer Bureau Conducting Review of “Big Tech” Payment Systems

Move is First Step Toward Consumer Protection Measures

Andy Spears

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today it is collecting information from Big Tech firms on their payment processing systems. The CFPB’s move comes as concerns arise over how companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook use consumer data.

“Big Tech companies are eagerly expanding their empires to gain greater control and insight into our spending habits,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We have ordered them to produce information about their business plans and practices.”

The CFPB’s work is one of many efforts within the Federal Reserve System to make payments safer, faster, and more competitive. The initial orders were sent to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square. The Bureau will also be studying the payment system practices of Chinese tech giants, including Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Families and businesses benefit from faster, cheaper, and more secure payment systems. As online commerce and electronic payments have become consumers’ normal expectation — especially during the pandemic — companies have developed new products and business models to meet this demand.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .