House Committee Applauds Mobile Payments Innovation (Dec. 2, 2015)
In a Congressional hearing yesterday, lawmakers examined the role mobile payments technologies are playing in disrupting traditional payments, paying particular attention to how mobile has increased payments security and enabled small businesses and underbanked consumers to access electronic payments. Held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, yesterday’s hearing included four expert witnesses from the payments industry: John Muller, vice president of global payments policy, PayPal; Sang Ahn, chief commercial officer, U.S., Samsung Pay; Jessica Deckinger, chief marketing officer, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX); and Sarah Jane Hughes of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.
Committee members offered praise for mobile payments, noting how significantly mobile technology has changed the payments landscape. “There has not been this big of an upheaval in how consumers pay for goods and services . . . since computers replaced the old knuckle-busting manual imprinters in the 1980s,” noted the committee chairman, Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas). “These mobile payment options include protections not available with cash, and are easy to use for consumers who may be more likely to have their phone in their pocket than exact change.” The committee’s questions focused largely on how mobile payments technologies are helping protect consumers’ personal and financial data against cybercriminals. Several members asked witnesses for an explanation of multifactor authentication and tokenization technologies. Committee members also sought insight into how to drive consumer adoption of mobile payments technologies in the U.S. and abroad.
Payments industry stakeholders applauded the committee’s focus on mobile innovation. The Electronic Transactions Association said it looks forward to “assisting the committee in its efforts to ensure that merchants, consumers and the economy continue to benefit from the safety and security of our nation’s payments systems.” The Electronic Payments Coalition and the Retail Industry Leaders Association also expressed support for the hearing.
Click here to watch a video of the full hearing.