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Fenergo Study: Emerging Risks in US Fintech Payments Since FedNow's Launch

Money2020, Las Vegas – October 25th, 2023 – Fenergo, the leading provider of digital solutions for Know Your Customer (KYC), Transaction Monitoring and Client Lifecycle Management (CLM), today released its study of emerging risks in the fintech payments sector since the launch of FedNow. Surveying high-level risk and compliance officers across fintech payment companies, including P2P payments platforms, mobile payment apps, digital/virtual asset service providers, and more, Fenergo’s analysis reveals that the swift pace of real-time payments, while beneficial, introduces significant challenges in fraud prevention, security protocols, and regulatory compliance. 

“In the rapidly evolving landscape of financial technology, compliance and risk officers at fintech payment companies are navigating uncharted waters with the launch of FedNow,” said Stella Clarke, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Fenergo. “Our research highlights the significant hurdles in financial crime prevention and compliance efforts, painting a vivid picture of the challenges faced in this new era.” 

The Impact on Customer Experience  

According to Fenergo’s study, almost half (42%) of risk and compliance officers at fintech payments companies report that ensuring a smooth user experience during compliance operations in adopting FedNow is a challenge. That said, 69% expressed worries that neglecting FedNow adoption would negatively affect business operations, leading to an unsatisfactory customer experience.  

Commenting on this, Clarke said: “These findings highlight genuine concerns about the repercussions of neglecting this transformative wave. Clearly, it’s a delicate dance, and those who can balance user satisfaction and operational efficiency will be the most successful.”  

Staff Training, Talent, and Collaboration 

Fenergo's analysis spotlighted many concerns among risk and compliance officers in fintech payment companies. Inadequate staff training topped the list at 78%. "Notably, our study also found that 34% lack anti-financial crime talent. Inadequate training coupled with insufficient talent poses serious challenges," emphasized Clarke." Cumbersome manual KYC procedures followed closely at 67%, and limited collaboration with regulatory authorities ranked at 65%.  

When questioned about the processes requiring immediate attention for FedNow adoption, 62% highlighted either insufficient real-time transaction monitoring or limited data encryption and security measures.  

The Funding and Compliance Balancing Act 

Despite the numerous obstacles faced by risk and compliance officers in fintech payment companies, all respondents reported challenges in securing sufficient funding for investing in new technology and enhancing compliance efforts. For 43%, the struggle lies in predicting future compliance needs amid regulatory shifts, while 30% say their company prioritizes sales-driven projects over compliance, risking regulatory fines and long-term reputation damage. The remaining 27% either grapple with limited stakeholder buy-in or uncertainties around return on investment (ROI) and long-term benefits.  

Methodology: Fenergo conducted a comprehensive survey involving 100 high-level risk and compliance officers from prominent fintech payment enterprises. This diverse pool of participants included professionals from various sectors such as P2P payments platforms, mobile payment apps, payment processing firms, alternative lenders, digital wallets, and digital/virtual asset service providers, all operating within the United States.