Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

70 Business Lawyer 261 (2014/15)


In the year since our last survey, there have been significant legal developments in the areas of virtual currencies, prepaid payroll cards, online tribal lending, and payday lending. What connects some of these topics is an increasingly common strategy by federal banking regulators to influence and control the actions of entities that are not directly subject to their supervision through the relationships such entities have with regulated financial institutions. These developments also demonstrate robust state legislative and regulatory action relating to the provision of electronic payments and financial services, and document class actions alleging violations of federal and state laws.

This survey addresses developments taking place roughly between June 1, 2013 and June 5, 2014. Part II of this survey discusses the travails of Bitcoin and other alternative currencies. Part III addresses actions related to payroll cards. Part IV looks at the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community and various state efforts to rein in online interstate lending marketed by tribal communities and other lenders. Part V examines the U.S. Department of Justice's "Operation Choke Point," the prosecution of Four Oaks Bank, and a lawsuit brought by payday lenders against federal banking regulators. Part VI sets forth conclusions about the manner in which federal and state regulation of electronic payments and financial services is developing and suggests issues to watch closely in 2015.