Carper, Peters, Rounds and Isakson Announce New Senate Payments Innovation Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today announced the formation of the bipartisan Senate Payments Innovation Caucus. The Senate Payments Innovation Caucus will explore new and innovative technologies in the payments industry and address issues concerning data security, consumer protection and electronic payments.

“The mobile payment business is an exciting, innovative space that has many potential benefits for consumers and businesses,” said Senator Carper. “It is hugely important to the future of Delaware and many of our largest employers, as well as our country’s ability to compete in the global market place. As we embrace these technological advances and the economic opportunity they provide, we also need to make sure security measures are in place to safeguard consumers and businesses. I look forward to continuing to work on these important issues with this new caucus.”

“Electronic payments like credit cards and mobile transactions are driving economic growth in Michigan and across the country,” said Senator Peters. “We need to make sure that Congress is well-versed in this critical industry, so that it can continue to provide convenient services to consumers and support entrepreneurs and small businesses by connecting them to customers across the globe. I’m looking forward to working with my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase awareness of new innovations in the electronic payments industry, protect consumers’ personal data and expand access to financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers”

“Credit cards and mobile payments are a large part of South Dakota’s economy, and it’s important for others to understand how the industry works,” said Senator Rounds. “The technology payments industry impacts nearly every corner of our economy and is changing just as rapidly as it is growing. Our goal is to make sure others are aware of the issues important to the industry to meet its growing needs and keep consumer data safe and secure.”

“I am very pleased to co-chair the Payments Innovation Caucus, a new, bipartisan Senate caucus that will address cutting edge issues in the electronic payment sector. More than 70 percent of all card transactions processed in the United States are handled by companies headquartered or having significant operations in Georgia, along with prepaid card programs used by consumers throughout the global marketplace. Georgia is home to this industry, and the thousands of Georgians employed by this industry in my state will benefit from a caucus focusing on new technology development in an industry experiencing explosive growth,” said Senator Isakson.

“As the trade association of more than 500 U.S. payments technology companies, ETA applauds the leadership of Senators Mike Rounds and Gary Peters in forming the Senate Payments Innovation Caucus,” said Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA). “ETA member companies are the world’s leading payments innovators, deploying mobile payments and other technology that powers commerce for merchants and their customers. We look forward to working with caucus members to advance policies that promote innovation and economic growth through payments technology.”

Nearly 70 percent of consumer spending is done using electronic payment methods, and electronic consumer spending continues to grow. By 2017, it is expected to reach an estimated $7.3 trillion.

Electronic payment methods include credit, debit and prepaid cards, as well as mobile payments. The use of mobile phones and other electronic devices to access bank accounts and credit cards and to make payments is a rapidly growing part of our economy that provides new opportunities for small businesses, startups and established stakeholders to reach customers around the world. The electronic transactions industry supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country, and it continues to grow.

Mobile banking and innovation in payments technology also have the potential to increase access to financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers. Among underbanked consumers, 48 percent have used mobile banking in the past year. These technologies can help lower-income Americans save for their future and manage their income and expenditures.

The Senate Payments Innovation Caucus will focus on educating staff and Senators on the dynamic issues surrounding this growing industry, including data security and consumer protection, innovation in electronic payment technologies and consumer access to electronic financial services.

Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03), Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), David Scott (GA-13), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) recently formed the Congressional Payments Technology Caucus in the House of Representatives.