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New risks emerge as line between payments and commerce blurs

Recent innovations across the payments ecosystem include the growing presence of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) offerings, embedded commerce, and integrated “super apps.” Families, businesses, and the economy benefit when payments are fast and frictionless, and these emerging payment systems do make the user experience more “seamless” by integrating commerce and financial services. However, they also have the capacity to harvest user behavioral data to enhance their value propositions.

Today, we issued a report, which explores the implications of this dynamic market and examines the development of new offerings that may blur the traditional lines of banking and commerce. We are focused on how large technology platforms and other emerging business models that operate outside of the traditional banking system use peoples’ sensitive spending and transaction data. We want to preserve the benefits of real-time payments, while still ensuring that the payments ecosystem in the United States is fair, transparent, and competitive.

We have witnessed the rise of super apps in markets outside the United States. For example, Alipay and WeChat Pay have become fixtures of daily life in China, supporting ecommerce, payments, other financial services, and chat functions. The resulting deep integration and synergies often mask how data is used, shared, and leveraged.

The value of user data collected in all three of the products surveyed in this report will only be enhanced as a cross section of Big Tech players, such as Apple and Google , leverage their dominance with respect to the systems and networks they control. Super apps, BNPL, and embedded commerce all allow for data to be kept within the confines of the tech platform and to deepen and secure consumer reliance on these products.

Today’s report continues the work we began when we issued our market monitoring orders to Big Tech companies and BNPL providers. These initiatives speak to our focus and commitment to consumer financial markets that work for all people. In the coming months, we plan to publish reports on the BNPL market and the implications of Big Tech’s movement into the payments space. Based in part on the findings that emerge in those reports, we will use our full range of tools to ensure that people are protected.

Read The Convergence of Payments and Commerce report.

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