As Payments Grows in Importance, ICBA Actively Engages Key Policymakers

April 05, 2022

The importance of experienced advocacy representation of community banks’ payments needs has never been greater, which is why the ICBA Payments and Technology Policy team has imbedded resources into myriad decision-making boards, committees, and standards-setting bodies. Through ICBA representation, community banks nationwide influence the organizations and agencies that determine how the payments industry works in the United States.

Regulatory Scale

Between 2008 and 2019, federal regulatory agencies including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Treasury Department, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, issued 155 different rulings pertaining to financial institutions. Add to this rulings issued by the card networks, ACH governing entities, and standards-setting bodies, then throw in a few industry innovation working groups, such as the U.S. Faster Payments Council.

The following diagram of the various payments boards, committees, and groups ICBA teams participate in throughout the year provide a better idea of the scope of these activities.

Chart of Payments Apr 5 2022

Figure 1: ICBA Committee Participation

Payments and Technology Advocacy

Given this scale of policy output affecting community bank payment operations, ICBA’s Payments and Technology Policy Team is dedicated to working closely with regulators and other governing bodies to represent the needs and challenges of community banks. This team functions not only as the community banking industry’s policymaking eyes and ears, but also as an advocate that ensures the voice of community banks is always part of the conversation.

ICBA’s Bank Operations and Payments Committee plays a vital role in informing these perspectives and supporting the team’s advocacy strategies with keen insights and direction. This committee comprises prominent thought leaders from community banks from across the country. They meet frequently with regulators, such as Federal Reserve officials, to provide valuable guidance to ensure community banks remain at the forefront of payments.

The ICBA Payments and Technology Policy Team invests time, talent, and resources to maximize beneficial outcomes for community banks. It also acts as a payments information channel by publishing communication and education materials, analyses of new rules, and industry commentary. ICBA designs these assets to streamline the complexity of payments innovations, risk management, fintech, and compliance into a comprehensive knowledge base for both community banks and governing entities.

Further, because the business of payments is expanding beyond ACH, checks, and debit and credit card issuance, ICBA has added to its team experience in digital assets and emerging payments, including technical infrastructure and risk management.

These activities—ensuring community banks are well-represented, developing educational assets, and crafting response letters and commentary to proposed payments-related legislation and regulation—support ICBA’s mission of creating and promoting an environment where community banks flourish.

The U.S. banking system is the most robust and resilient in the world, which is attributable to the rich diversity of community banks across the country. With ICBA joining community banks in meeting challenges and opportunities that confront the industry through advocacy, innovation, and education, innovation in payments is a key component of that very important work.