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The financial industry and the Federal Reserve are finally on the same page about the U.S. payment system's need for speed. But achieving consensus about what the new system should look like remains a tall order.

Top Stories

Mel Watt, the former North Carolina lawmaker, has earned praised for his cautious approach to guiding the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But critics say he is making it even more difficult to craft a system without them.  more »
Pricing in Florida might be ticking higher as the state's economy booms, but some banks are still feeling the effects of the last downturn. Those banks are perhaps perfect candidates for acquirers looking to tap into the recovery.  more »
Law firms, compliance specialists, lobbyists and even startups are all trying to get a piece of the burgeoning billion-dollar industry aimed at navigating, modifying or complying with the Volcker Rule.  read more »
Alternative financial service providers that sell prepaid cards, bill pay, check cashing and other services to underbanked consumers are becoming more sophisticated with the ways they mine customer data.  read more »
FinTech Forward
SAS has launched a new solution designed to allow banks to rapidly test anti-money laundering scenarios, the business analytics software and services provider announced March 16.  read more »
Retailers have been able to get credit card surcharge bans in California and New York thrown out by using an unusual legal argument based on the First Amendment. The wins are significant, but merchants still need to fight through a legal thicket before card surcharges become practical.  read more »
United Community Banks took hefty hits during the financial crisis due to its focus on real estate lending. Today, the Georgia company is diversifying by building teams dedicated to SBA lending and making other specialty loans.  read more »
Environmentalists scored a big victory with PNC's decision to reduce its exposure to mountaintop-removal coal mining, which they say causes environmental destruction and health problems. Now they plan to turn their attention to other banks.  read more »
Farm banks have enjoyed several years of robust loan volume, but declining farm income has them on guard for increases in delinquencies and more eager to use government-guarantee programs.  read more »
He could have easily shunned the spotlight after leaving Merrill Lynch, but instead John Thain accepted the challenge of reviving the troubled CIT Group. By all measures he's succeeded, cementing his reputation as a fixer, but the job is hardly complete. Next up: transforming the commercial lender into a traditional regional bank through its closely watched acquisition of OneWest Bank.  read more »
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