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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Texas enacts Money Services Modernization Act

Licensing State Issues State Legislation Texas Money Service / Money Transmitters CSBS

On May 29, the Texas governor signed SB 895 (the “Act”) to enact the Money Services Modernization Act, the money transmitter model law created by industry and state experts. The goal of the Act is to create a set of consistent and coordinated standards relating to the regulation of money service businesses. Among other things, the Act outlines networked supervision criteria to allow the commissioner to participate in multistate supervisory processes coordinated through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the Money Transmitter Regulators Association, and other related affiliates and successors for all money services licenses that hold licenses in Texas and other states. To efficiently minimize regulatory burden, the commissioner may, among other things, coordinate and share information with other state and federal regulators, enter into information-sharing contracts or agreements, conduct joint examinations or investigations, and accept examination or investigation reports made by other states. Texas now joins several other states in adopting common licensing and regulatory standards to add efficiencies to the multi-state process (continuing InfoBytes coverage here).

Additionally, the commissioner has enforcement, examination, and supervision authority, may adopt implementing regulations, and may recover costs and fees associated with applications, examinations, investigations, and other related actions. The Act also includes additional consumer protection provisions. The Act includes in the definition of “money” or “monetary value” a stablecoin that “(i) is pegged to a sovereign currency; (ii) is fully backed by assets held in reserve; and (iii) grants a holder of the stablecoin the right to redeem the stablecoin for sovereign currency from the issuer.” Among the various exemptions, the Act provides for an exemption for an agent of the payee to collect and process a payment from a payor to the payee for goods or services, other than money transmission services. The amendments also outline numerous licensing application and renewal procedures including net worth, surety bond, and permissible investment requirements. The Act is effective September 1.