Financial Technology

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Financial technology, commonly known as “fintech,” consists of software, businesses and processes that provide financial offerings through the use of expanding technology in the modern world. With a rapidly developing technology landscape, along with new regulations, protections, risks and forms of currency, the fintech space is intertwined closely with the world of privacy and data security.

This topic page provides news, guidance, resources and tools covering financial technology and the impact it has on the privacy space.

Featured Resources

Big data processing in the financial sector

Being one of the most data-focused industries, the financial sector is witnessing great opportunities for new and innovative algorithms in the field of big data analytics. This article discusses considerations for privacy and security as companies attempt to seize the opportunities before them.
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EU’s anti-money laundering regulation

This article breaks down the potential future of data protection and anti-money laundering regulations in the EU.
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Moving beyond notice and choice to welcome a fiduciary standard

While there are questions surrounding whether a fiduciary model can work in a digital space, BigID Vice President of Privacy and Policy Heather Federman, CIPP/US, writes it could replace an outdated model.
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Latest News and Resources

The EU’s anti-money laundering regulation and data protection: Part II

Editor's note: This is the second article in a two-part series on the European Union's anti-money laundering regulation. Part One of this article explained how the European Union’s 2015 fourth anti-money laundering directive (2015/849 or 4AMLD) required financial institutions to apply data protection safeguards to their anti-money laundering/countering the financial terrorism compliance programs, but the guidance never materialized. In 2021, the Commission introduced 2021/0240 (COD) to establis... Read More

FinTech in Costa Rica: The regulatory landscape and privacy as a priority

The thriving financial technology industry has transformed the financial products and services market. It encompasses a wide range of technology that allows users to make payments, obtain financing, invest and beyond. Fintech is attractive to users and companies alike due to the efficiency it offers by significantly reducing former challenges of time and distance. Also, inclusion is a key aspect of fintech: It makes managing financial tools accessible to more communities. However, the use of fin... Read More

China's central bank to crack down on fintech and protect privacy

The People's Bank of China will begin taking action against financial technology companies collecting and using personal data, the South China Morning Post reports. In an 8-minute keynote speech for Hong Kong's 2021 FinTech Week, the central bank's Governor Yi Gang said making stronger data protection is "an urgent matter" in light of companies collecting and leaking personal data. "We are cracking down on excessive collection of consumer data, and unfair practices that require customers to hand... Read More

Researchers develop model to analyze financial docs while protecting users’ privacy
(IAPP, October 2021)
China clamps down on cryptocurrency transactions
(IAPP, September 2021)
Biden administration readying sanctions for crypto-based ransomware payments
(IAPP, September 2021)
Building on the digital banking momentum
(Deloitte, September 2021)
IRS commissioner seeks congressional authority to collect data on cryptocurrency transfers
(IAPP, June 2021)
Banks pilot data-sharing program to issue credit cards
(IAPP, May 2021)
Fintech companies push CFPB on financial data access
(IAPP, February 2021)
Amid a global pandemic, ransomware increasingly targets hospitals
(IAPP, December 2020)
Turkey’s new data storage and transfer requirements for banks
(IAPP, September 2020)
Systems of Cyber Resilience: Secure and Trusted Fintech
(IAPP, July 2020)
The next chapter of data privacy: Building a new currency with digital trust
(Deloitte Insights, June 2020)
Harvard researchers seek improved privacy for financial data
(IAPP, March 2020)
Fintech findings for 2019: Platforms, Open Banking and Cloud
(Fieldfisher, July 2019)
Tips for using Fintech
(Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data of Hong Kong, July 2019)
Australian financial software provider endures breach following ‘glitch’
(IAPP, July 2019)
National Economic Council: A Framework for FinTech (2017)
(National Economic Council, July 2019)
Implications of Data Privacy for Financial Technology in Asia
(ASIFMA, May 2019)
Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs issues GDPR guidelines for fintech
(IAPP, January 2019)
Credit card company offers virtual payment numbers
(IAPP, September 2018)
Bitcoin’s strategic place in ransomware
(IAPP, September 2016)
View More Resources

Consumer & Personal Privacy

Moscow metro launches facial recognition payment system

The city of Moscow launched "Face Pay," a facial recognition fare system for their network of more than 240 metro stations in the city, Reuters reports. "Moscow is the first city in the world where this system is operating on such a scale," Maxim Liksutov, head of the the city's transport department, said. The Moscow metro system serves a population of 12.7 million people in Moscow. Using "Face Pay" as a way to pay your fare is not required, Liksutov added, and the previous payment methods will ... Read More

Facial recognition on rise to authorize mobile payments

An analysis by Juniper Research found billions of smartphone users will be using facial recognition and other biometric authentication technologies in the coming years to authenticate payments made through smart devices, ZDNet reports. The research found 95% of smartphones globally will have biometric capabilities by 2025, and users’ characteristics will authenticate more than $3 trillion in payment transactions. Lead Analyst Nick Maynard said hardware-based systems will be more secure than soft... Read More

Amazon introduces biometric payment system

TechCrunch reports Amazon rolled out Amazon One, a biometric payment system that identifies individuals with a palm scan. Users will hover their palm over the contact scanner after they insert a credit card registered to the palm print. Amazon said the scans are encrypted and under secure cloud storage, but the company did not say whether the scans will be stored permanently.Full Story... Read More

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

FTC launches first cryptocurrency probe

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission launched its first cryptocurrency investigation, Bloomberg reports. The probe stems from a BitMart cryptocurrency exchange breach in December 2021 that led to clients losing between $150-200 million. The agency is looking at what the two companies that operate BitMart told users about the security of their data and if the operators complied with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which "requires financial institutions to safeguard sensitive customer data." The FTC and ... Read More

Treasury department sanctions cryptocurrency exchange over ransomware payments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Czech Republic-based cryptocurrency exchange Suex OTC, for allegedly enabling illegal ransomware payments, Reuters reports. The department alleges the company facilitated transactions related to at least eight ransomware attacks. Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the sanctions, which block Suex’s access to U.S. property and prohibit transactions with Americans, are “a signal of our intention to expose and disrupt the illicit infrastructur... Read More

Biden administration readying sanctions for crypto-based ransomware payments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is preparing a sanctions scheme to dissuade organizations from paying hackers, specifically those carrying out ransomware attacks, via cryptocurrency, The Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to new sanctions, the Biden administration plans to roll out new guidance to businesses on risks associated with executing ransomware payments that will include notice on potential fines and other penalties. Editor's note: The IAPP's Caitlin Fennessy, CIPP/US, offered... Read More

Regulation & Government

FinTech in Costa Rica: The regulatory landscape and privacy as a priority

The thriving financial technology industry has transformed the financial products and services market. It encompasses a wide range of technology that allows users to make payments, obtain financing, invest and beyond. Fintech is attractive to users and companies alike due to the efficiency it offers by significantly reducing former challenges of time and distance. Also, inclusion is a key aspect of fintech: It makes managing financial tools accessible to more communities. However, the use of fin... Read More

Chinese government removes financial data reporting rule for NYSE-listed companies

The Chinese government changed a rule that previously restricted offshore New York Stock Exchange-listed companies' financial data sharing practices, Bloomberg reports. The revised draft rule removed the requirement that on-site inspections were to be conducted by Chinese regulators. The move could clear a key hurdle for U.S. regulators to access auditing reports of the more than 200 companies listed on the NYSE. The U.S. had set a 2024 deadline to remove noncompliant businesses from NYSE and th... Read More

The EU’s anti-money laundering regulation and data protection: Part II

Editor's note: This is the second article in a two-part series on the European Union's anti-money laundering regulation. Part One of this article explained how the European Union’s 2015 fourth anti-money laundering directive (2015/849 or 4AMLD) required financial institutions to apply data protection safeguards to their anti-money laundering/countering the financial terrorism compliance programs, but the guidance never materialized. In 2021, the Commission introduced 2021/0240 (COD) to establis... Read More

Data protection and the EU's anti-money laundering regulation

Editor's note: This is the first article in a two-part series on the European Union's anti-money laundering regulation. In 2015, the European Union’s fourth anti-money laundering directive (2015/849, or 4AMLD) required obligated entities (e.g., financial institutions) to apply data protection safeguards to their compliance programs. As the directive mandates FIs employ a risk-based assessment using numerous data variables to assess a client’s risk of money laundering, terrorism finance activity... Read More

China's central bank to crack down on fintech and protect privacy

The People's Bank of China will begin taking action against financial technology companies collecting and using personal data, the South China Morning Post reports. In an 8-minute keynote speech for Hong Kong's 2021 FinTech Week, the central bank's Governor Yi Gang said making stronger data protection is "an urgent matter" in light of companies collecting and leaking personal data. "We are cracking down on excessive collection of consumer data, and unfair practices that require customers to hand... Read More

Banks & Financial Institutions

Wells Fargo to enable financial data sharing for customers

Wells Fargo customers will be able to share their financial data with more than 1,400 third-party financial applications that use the Envestnet | Yodlee Financial Data Aggregation Platform, Business Insider reports. This is anticipated to launch by the end of the year, and Wells Fargo intends to offer customers control over how their data is shared, as well as the ability to turn data sharing on and off.Full Story... Read More

Turkey’s new data storage and transfer requirements for banks

Amendments to Turkish Banking Law No. 5411 in February 2020 introduced important provisions regarding how banks handle confidential customer data. Based on these provisions, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency introduced a secondary regulation that was finalized in March, the Regulation on Banks’ Information Technology and Electronic Banking Services. This regulation contains binding provisions related to data processing and transferring of bank customers. Definition of customer confi... Read More

Economic Impact

Fintech and market structure in financial services

This report from the Financial Stability Board looks at technological innovation, the new entrants into the financial services space, including fintech firms and big tech, and how these entrants could alter the financial services providers universe. This paper addresses the benefits these firms bring, as well as the risks. Click To View (PDF) ... Read More