Financial Services Innovation

Back to Policy Issues

As a longtime leader in financial technology, Intuit has been working for years to make our customers’ financial lives better. We incessantly pursue increased access to financial service tools that can improve and ease our customers’ financial lives. Over the years of identifying and solving for our customers’ financial pain points, innovation continues to be at the heart of the value we bring to our customers. Underlying this innovation is the belief that consumers and small businesses should be able to securely access their financial data, which can be used to power personal financial management, accounting, or tax tools.

Intuit’s tools, like Mint, TurboTax, Credit Karma and QuickBooks, are at the center of our customers’ financial lives. Be it the tax-time moment – when many tax return filers receive their largest paycheck of the year – to a small business that uses QuickBooks run their business - send invoices, accept payments, forecast expenses and income - complete, accurate, and up-to-date bank or credit union data is a key component of informed financial decision-making. Access to financial data is an example of innovation that requires a risk-based approach to policy-making.

We believe that risk-based public policies that enable financial services innovation can help to expand access to financial services tools, increase informed financial decision making, and lay the groundwork for a future of continual customer-centric innovations.

Access to Capital

One of the most significant issues for small businesses globally remains access to affordable capital. The loan application process is long and difficult, no matter where you operate. Interest rates can be high, and banks often won’t lend to companies less than two years old with smaller revenues. This can be a make-or-break issue for a small business facing decisions to buy supplies to complete the next job, make payroll while waiting for a customer’s payment, or invest in new/repaired equipment, among many other needs. Intuit supports policies that ensure all small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to affordable and competitive financing. We believe in leveling the playing field among both traditional and non-traditional lenders so that all small businesses have the ability to compete and survive, particularly in this current economic environment.

We also encourage the government to create an environment that fosters innovation in the financial services space, rooted in a commitment to digital financial services, or DFS. Through innovation in DFS, better data and AI can enable more efficient, comprehensive, and inclusive underwriting models. With customer consent, QuickBooks Capital, or QBC, uses a transaction-level look at money-in and money-out, past history, and future cash flow. This real-time data enables QBC to see beyond traditional underwriting metrics to better understand a small business's ability to repay. That enhanced insight allows QBC to offer working capital to a broader spectrum of small businesses. Close to 40 percent of QBC’s loans go to firms less than two years old, and our loan losses are lower than traditional lenders. Intuit supports policies that foster innovation in DFS, enabling all small business owners, including the underserved, access to the capital they need.

Open banking, open data

For decades, Intuit has been on the forefront of enabling customers to import their financial data into our products. Today, our products allow customers to connect to their bank accounts to see a full picture of their financial life/business that takes less effort and is less error-prone than manually entering financial data. We believe that consumers should have total control over their financial data and decide who can access it on their behalf and for what purposes. Open banking allows consumers and small businesses to authorize third-party applications to access their financial information on their behalf while establishing guardrails that ensure these third parties adequately protect this information and use it only for intended purposes.

Intuit supports government efforts to establish an open banking framework. We believe that any open banking effort needs to prioritize benefits to the consumer and small business over all other stakeholders (e.g., financial institutions, fintech, aggregators), ensuring that their data is properly protected and used as intended. We also believe that an open banking framework should be designed in a manner that allows the financial services industry to continue innovating, while providing clarity where existing regulatory guidance may be outdated or not clear. Lastly, we believe that industry is in the best position to determine the appropriate technical standards for sharing financial data, and to the extent possible, open banking frameworks should defer to industry and existing standards in lieu of providing prescriptive technical requirements.

Payroll and Money Transmission

Payroll is a critical function of small business operations, but often can be a time-consuming, compliance-heavy task. Intuit Payroll manages payroll for approximately one in 12 U.S. small businesses. For Intuit to provide these services, our teams must track and understand our customers’ compliance burdens in multiple jurisdictions, at the national, state, and local level. For instance, payroll is considered “money transmission” in some states but not others. Consistent money transmission definitions and rules, from state to state, can help payroll processors and payment facilitators better serve their customers. The consistency will allow our teams to focus on serving our customers and eliminating the spurious uses of money transmission tools. The resources spent on managing disparate definitions and rules can undermine the goals of state and federal regulators - to protect the transmission of funds for law-abiding individuals and organizations while eliminating the transmission of funds for illegal activities. This is why we support efforts to harmonize money transmission rule differences between jurisdictions while upholding the role of state regulators.

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