February 21, 2017

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FSR: Innovations in Data Aggregation Are Positive Developments for Consumers and Financial Industry

“FSR believes many of the innovations made possible by data aggregation are positive developments for consumers and the financial industry."

FSR: Innovations in Data Aggregation Are Positive Developments for Consumers and Financial Industry
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FSR: Innovations in Data Aggregation Are Positive Developments for Consumers and Financial Industry

Submits Response to CFPB Regarding Consumer Access to Financial Records

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) and its technology policy division, BITS, today responded to the CFPB’s request for information concerning consumers’ access to aggregated financial account and account-related data. In its response letter, FSR/BITS highlighted the importance of innovation and collaboration while outlining five core elements policymakers, market participants, and the Bureau should consider in assessing this evolving ecosystem.

“FSR believes many of the innovations made possible by data aggregation are positive developments for consumers and the financial industry. FSR member firms actively partner with third parties to facilitate the use of consumer-permissioned account data by third parties in a way that both meets the specific desires of consumers while ensuring consumer privacy, data security, transparency around data access and data use, liability allocation and safety and soundness considerations are all addressed,” FSR noted in its letter.

“FSR encourages the Bureau to reevaluate its approach to the issue at hand, and consider adopting a facilitating, encouraging role that leverages the significant progress being made by market participants toward consumer-centric solutions, and avoids unnecessary rulemaking or standard-setting that would only serve to blunt innovation and the privacy and security of consumer data.”

FSR urged the Bureau to consider the following five core elements:

Security and Privacy: “Unfettered access” necessarily requires consumers to surrender their account credentials to third party platforms or apps. In the absence of any contractual arrangement or other formalized means by which a financial institution can appropriately and effectively execute its third party due diligence obligations, it is not possible for the financial institution to evaluate security controls attendant to the collection and storage of consumer data and account credentials.

Data Access and Use Transparency: Not only should customers be required to provide express consent permitting a financial institution to share their account data with a third party, but customers must also be provided ongoing visibility into the subsequent use of their data once it has left the financial institution. FSR believes customers should have full awareness over what is shared, how it is shared and with whom it is shared, to assure informed consent.

Clarity of liability: While existing federal statutes such as Regulation E and GLBA make clear the rights, roles, protections and responsibilities associated with fraud, unauthorized transactions and breaches of data security for financial institutions and their customers, it is not clear how and under what circumstances the involvement of a third party data aggregator in the offending transaction impacts the customer’s liability for any losses incurred.

Customer Choice and Control: An increasingly digital world means customers have greater ability to shop – including for financial services – with mouse clicks and finger swipes. Increased availability of data only reduces the friction associated with this. FSR fully supports consumers’ ability to access and share their data in ways they feel will enhance their financial well-being.

Technology Neutrality: While FSR believes the financial services-aggregator ecosystem should make every effort to move in one direction with regard to technologies affecting authentication, security and data transmission, the plethora of existing and evolving authentication tools and standards – OAuth, OFX, DDA and TxPUSH, to name several of the more well-known examples – suggests an innovative and collaborative environment among stakeholders. The debilitating poison pill for such an environment is rigid regulation, standards-setting, or technology mandates by the government.

To read the full letter click here.

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About The Author

The Financial Services Roundtable represents the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, payment and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO. FSR member companies provide fuel for America’s economic engine, accounting for $92.7 trillion in managed assets, $1.2 trillion in revenue, and 2.3 million jobs.

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