November 3, 2015 Last Updated 2:27 pm

Tech giants create financial services coalition to lobby DC

Whenever companies like Apple, Amazon and Google agree on something it must be pretty big, right? Well, not always. Especially when it is apparent that they are getting the hang of the ol’ Washington lobbying game.

FinNow-740Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now, which the new entity says is about promoting such things as “access to financial tools and services.”

The real goal is likely to be attempting to offset the power of the banking lobby which would like to have Congress regulate the financial activities of the tech giants. Apple and others, after all, have been busy introducing mobile pay platforms and other new technology that the banks probably see as intruding on their turf – turf they have paid for through years of lobbying Congress and backing politicians.

How powerful is the banking lobby? Republicans want to add banking deregulation language into the new highway bill.

“According to a source familiar with discussions, Republicans are trying to remove tighter regulations that were imposed on banks with at least $50 billion in assets after the 2008 financial crisis,” Huffington Post reported today.

So, leading the lobbying effort will be Brian Peters, who is a partner at Franklin Square Group, a lobbying firm that specializes in government and tech. The firm has represented Google, Intel and Apple in the past.

The companies involved certainly have the money to take on the banks, and the banks certainly have the money to continue buying Congress. Should be good times for lobbying firms and politicians.

Here is the announcement for the formation of the new coalition:

WASHINGTON, DC – November 3, 2015 – Technology industry leaders Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now, a coalition that will promote policies to help foster greater innovation in financial services.

“Innovation is coming to financial services, and now is the time for Washington to help enable a modern financial system that is more accessible, affordable, and secure,” said Brian Peters, Executive Director of Financial Innovation Now. “This alliance of remarkably innovative companies brings a new voice to Washington’s financial conversations, and we look forward to engaging on a wide range of opportunities. Whether it is protecting consumers, growing small businesses, or promoting financial literacy and savings, Financial Innovation Now wants policymakers to understand how new technologies can help solve today’s policy challenges.”

The organization and its member companies believe that financial innovation will empower consumers by improving access to financial tools and services, increasing convenience and ease of use, and helping users save money and lower costs.

In addition, it will enable small businesses to grow and succeed with greater access to capital and analytical tools to make strategic, data-driven decisions, and strengthen authentication and security solutions for everyone.

Financial Innovation Now will promote policies that aim to:

  • Realize trust and safety of new technologies
  • Leverage technology to reduce barriers and enhance access for the underserved
  • Enable real-time payments clearing processes
  • Expand the online marketplace for consumer and small business lendingUnlock the power of financial applications

“The regulatory environment must allow these new innovations to enter and compete in the marketplace,” said Peters. “We look forward to working with policymakers to promote the adoption of new services, many of which are already bringing significant benefits to consumers and small businesses today.”

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