Hacking fears spur calls for tighter mobile payments regulations

New systems such as Apple Pay and its mobile payments competitors should be subject to the same regulations as big banks in order to secure the financial system, says BB&T Corp Chief Executive Officer Kelly King.

Computer hacking attacks through third party companies such as these are a “greater threat” to the financial system than similar moves against community lenders, King argued at a panel discussion in New York at the Clearing House annual conference, reported by Bloomberg. Regulators must consider whether the rapidly expanding number of alternative payments firms qualify as important financial institutions – sooner rather than later.

This would lead to tighter capital, leverage and liquidity rules like those faced by banks, King said, adding that while he favours healthy free-market competition between banks and nonbanks, industry regulations make that impossible.

 “We are headed toward a socialist system,” he said. “My hope is that going forward we will have a healthy shadow and regular banking system.”

King hopes that both systems will be subject to the same regulations.

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