#Mobile Payment Regulation Likely to Become More Streamlined

The future path of regulation for mobile payment apps remains to be seen. However, as development and usage of this burgeoning technology become increasingly commonplace, regulators will no doubt focus on developing a more comprehensive and streamlined approach to mobile payment regulation.

The regulatory environment surrounding mobile payments continues to develop and change as more consumers begin to use their mobile devices to process payments.

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently took a closer look at current mobile payment regulations. In its recently released white paper, “The Legal Framework of Mobile Payments: Gaps, Ambiguities, and Overlap,” Pew describes and analyzes the complex legal and regulatory structure governing mobile payments.

The paper also delves into the challenges presented by the current gaps (where no law applies), ambiguities (where it’s unclear whether a law applies) and overlap (where more than one law applies and more than one agency has authority over the same situation) in mobile payment regulation.

Mobile payments are currently regulated under an assortment of laws, including the Truth in Lending Act, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Dodd-Frank and the Federal Trade Commission Act. These acts are enforced by a number of federal agencies with sometimes overlapping jurisdiction and their own regulations and guidance.

Although the paper refers to “a lack of comprehensive consumer protections,” there are more than a dozen different federal laws that apply to mobile payments. The lack of industry agreement on how best to implement mobile payments has further complicated the difficult task of regulating the emerging mobile payments space.