Fintech Field Hearing: Innovate, Include, Secure.

Key Points:
– The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion held a field hearing on Dec. 8 at the Venture Center in Little Rock titled “Connecting Communities: Building Innovation Ecosystems Across America”.
– The hearing explored topics related to financial technology, including accessibility, cybersecurity and the role of regulatory agencies.
– The main focus was on cultivating fintech innovation in places not usually associated with emerging technology.
– The need for a dual-tier banking system governed by both federal and state regulations was stressed, with state-level guidance deemed necessary to understanding financial institutions’ use of fintech.
– Importance was given to public-private partnerships, with recommendations for other entrepreneurial support organizations to take a “portfolio-and-business-driven” approach to facilitating community-level innovation.
– Discussions related to fintech sandboxes suggested a potential pathway forward, but also raised concerns.
– Fintech allows financial institutions to reach new markets, experiment with products and services on a smaller scale, and engage with individuals who may not be able to access businesses.
– Maintaining cybersecurity and managing risks associated with digital transactions in an evolving fintech landscape are pivotal issues.

A fintech field hearing titled “Connecting Communities: Building Innovation Ecosystems Across America” took place on December 8 in Little Rock. This hearing was led by Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., and aimed to discuss ways financial technology can thrive throughout the country. Notably, the hearing emphasized the importance of accessibility and inclusivity, cybersecurity, and the role of regulatory agencies in the expanding fintech sector.

One key point raised during the hearing was the potential of fintech to drive economic growth and increase access to financial services. This was highlighted particularly by Rep. Wiley Nickel, D-N.C., who mentioned that fintech companies can democratize financial services, providing accessibility to unbanked and underserved populations.

The necessity of fostering fintech innovation in unexpected places was also discussed. As pointed out by Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., innovation should be a nationwide phenemenon, not limited to prominent tech hubs. In other words, every state in America should get the opportunity to participate in the innovation economy.

Regulation and the creation of a flexible legislative framework was another hot topic. Arkansas State Bank Department, as per Commissioner Susannah Marshall, has been fostering relationships with fintech companies and facilitating their growth. This includes the creation of consistent resources enabling future oversight of fintech.

The potential of financial technology to revolutionize how transactions are carried out was an interesting point of discussion. The emergence of decentralized finance, which uses cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, warrants a robust risk-management capability due to the presence of substantial threats such as data breaches and state-actors.

In conclusion, the hearing broadly highlighted the multifaceted role fintech can play in driving growth, enhancing accessibility, and changing how financial institutions function. However, necessary regulations, cybersecurity measures, public-private partnerships, and the creation of an innovation-friendly environment were all stressed as essential for a sustainable fintech sector.