The Board of Directors of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (the "CSBS") recently approved the Uniform Money Transmission Modernization Act, also known as the "Money Transmitter Model Law." The Money Transmitter Model Law, which would need to be adopted by individual states, aims to create uniformity in the application of state money transmitter laws, including with respect to the transfer of virtual currencies, across state lines.
Aside from its stated goal, the Money Transmitter Model Law is particularly relevant in the face of recent efforts by national banking regulators, especially the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the "OCC"), to advance chartering options for FinTech companies seeking to more seamlessly operate within the national market. Initially, the CSBS pursued a more oppositional approach to such efforts, mostly through litigation challenging the authority of the OCC to pursue such endeavors, but the Money Transmitter Model Law presents a more competitive approach.
The Money Transmitter Model Law is responsive to the industry's desire to create a regulatory environment that reflects the way money moves, which in large part is across state lines. Whether this step will create the momentum needed to achieve that result is not yet certain.
A common regulatory baseline across the country is a crucial step in advancing multistate harmonization in the money transmission industry, as states will be better able to work together in the licensing, regulation and supervision of money transmitters operating across state lines.