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ETA Supports Harmonization of States’ Licensing Requirements for Money Transmitters

August 28, 2017

Via electronic submission to Comments@dfs.ny.gov
Maria T. Vullo
Superintendent of Financial Services
New York State Department of Financial Services
One State Street
New York, New York 10004

Re: Emergency Rulemaking Permitted Use of Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) in Submissions to the Department – I.D. No. DFS-29-17-00004-EP

Dear Superintendent Vullo:

The Electronic Transactions Association (“ETA”)1 appreciates this opportunity to provide comments on the New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”) emergency rulemaking regarding the permitted use of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”). ETA supports efforts, including this rulemaking, to make licensing easier and more cost effective for financial services and money transmitter licensees.

ETA is the leading trade association for the payments industry, representing more than 500 companies worldwide involved in electronic transaction processing products and services. The purpose of ETA is to influence, monitor, and shape the payments industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy, and the exchange of information. ETA’s membership spans the breadth of the payments industry, including licensed money transmitters, financial institutions, payment processors, and financial technology companies (“FinTech”).

State licensing, generally, is a significant and expensive pain point for many financial services and FinTech companies. ETA supports easing of administrative burden through regulatory harmony and use of technology where possible. The NMLS offers one such opportunity to ease administrative burden if administered properly. The NMLS may reduce the licensing administrative process by providing a portal that allows licensees to upload information to one location that is accessed by state agencies that have adopted the NMLS. This allows for duplication to be minimized and consistency of licensee information nationwide. Additionally, NMLS creates a uniform renewal process, keeping renewal deadlines and requirements (in general) aligned across all states on NMLS. Adoption of a new system must come with appropriate guidance and resources for industry such as;. providing licensees with checklists to assist with transitioning onto the system.

In addition, it would help to leverage existing information on NMLS such as MU1, MU2 forms, so that separate forms would not have to be typed out and submitted in paper form.

Submitting paper forms is a time-consuming process and adds costs. In order for the NLMS to provide the most efficient streamlining of processes for registration, the Department should also consider incorporating the criminal background check and credit check process on NMLS for control persons in order to eliminate the very costly and time-consuming process of third-party investigation reports on control persons.

Finally, while New York transitions onto the NMLS, the Department should be mindful of having licensees upload information, and then requesting information outside the system. While moving to NMLS does streamline the processes, asking for additional information outside of what is collected on NMLS just adds more unique work. To reduce the additional work, it is recommended that the Department work with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to have any additional items requested added to the NMLS system – this way licensees could post the information once for all NMLS states to review.

ETA thanks you for the opportunity to submit these comments. If you have any additional comments, please contact me or ETA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Scott Talbott at Stalbott@electran.org.

Respectfully submitted,

PJ Hoffman
Director of Regulatory Affairs
Electronic Transactions Association
PJHoffman@electran.org
(202) 677-7417

1 http://www.electran.org/

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