A single paragraph in a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is sparking fears by third-party payment processors that the agency is quietly and significantly expanding its authority over the industry.

In a June suit against Intercept, a Fargo, N.D., payment processor that processed electronic funds transfers on behalf of payday lenders, the CFPB for the first time asserted that a payment processor is a "covered person" under the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

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