Photo of Erin F. Fonté

Erin F. Fonté Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2002
  • California, 2006

Education

Stanford Law School, J.D., with distinction, 2002

The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., with honors, 1995

Certifications

IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)

Erin Fonté assists clients with a broad range of matters related to payments/payment systems, digital commerce, banking and financial services (including related legal and regulatory issues), technology/Internet products, privacy and data protection laws, and general corporate matters. Erin regularly advises financial institutions and alternative payment providers regarding mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile wallet products and services. She has been involved in the creation of new payment networks and has worked extensively on products, services and network operating rules related to emerging and mobile payment systems.

Erin also has experience with a broad range of matters related to banking and financial services (including mobile banking and mobile payments), e-commerce, mobile commerce, technology/Internet products, privacy and data protection laws, and general corporate matters. She also advises advertisers, marketers and retailers/companies regarding mobile payments and add-on mobile products such as mobile loyalty/rewards and geo-location advertising/coupons/offers. She frequently writes and speaks on payments, mobile payments and privacy/data security issues. You can follow her on Twitter: @PaymentsLawyer

Experience

Payments Systems and Digital Commerce

Representation of retailers, financial institutions, non-bank payment systems and financial services companies, and other third party businesses engaged in “anywhere commerce” – point-of-sale, online ecommerce, mobile commerce and even “set-top” commerce via television or game system.

  • Credit Cards, Debit Cards, ACH Network. Counseling issuing banks and retailers on ACH, debit, credit and stored value card related agreements and transactions. Negotiation of payment processing contracts; counseling financial institutions on merchant acquisition matters; negotiating co-branding, issuer, processor, and third party sales and distribution agent agreements; and advising financial institutions, vendors, processors and merchants about ACH and physical and remote deposit capture check-based payments, transactions, disputes and related agreements.
  • Alternative and Emerging Payments. Representation of new payment and alternative payment method clients. Advised regarding the design and launch of closed-loop, open-loop and reloadable prepaid/stored value card programs. Providing legal analysis and advice regarding the full spectrum of alternative and emerging payment technology and systems, including person-to-person (P2P) and account-to-account (A2A) transfers and payment mechanisms; prepaid/stored value cards; gift cards; general purpose reloadable cards; electronic invoicing and billing systems; traditional and mobile loyalty/rewards cards; and mobile banking and mobile payments. Advice in this area both from a business and regulatory standpoint.

Mobile Payments, Mobile Wallets and Financial Technology (Fin Tech)

Representation of financial institutions, alternative payments providers and mobile wallet companies regarding regulatory and contractual matters for mobile financial services and mobile payments. Provide analysis and advice regarding mobile banking and mobile payments landscape products, including regulatory issues, technological knowledge, methods of using different technology at the point-of-sale (such as cloud versus QR bar codes versus “near-field communication” or NFC technology).

  • Representation of client developing and implementing mobile wallet products that seek to combine online and point-of-sale payment functions with loyalty/rewards, targeted ads and offers, and financial spend and budgeting services.
  • Provide national mobile wallet provider with regulatory and compliance, privacy and data security, and intellectual property advice, including advice regarding product development and launch.
  • Work with app developer creating a mobile wallet “white label” software development kit for use by various mobile wallet providers on joint development agreement and customer agreements.
  • Representation of numerous financial institutions with regard to creation and implementation of mobile banking apps, including mobile deposit capture features and alternative payment services such as person-to-person (P2P) transfers.
  • Representation of mobile banking platform developer with regard to regulatory, compliance, and privacy and data security issues, as well as mobile banking customer-facing terms and conditions. Also representation with regard to financial institution contracts (as third-party vendor).
  • Representation of online and mobile small dollar lenders.
  • Representations of emerging financial technology companies providing traditional financial services.

Banking and Financial Services

Representation of payments and banking and financial services clients regarding statutes, regulations, guidelines, financial institution letters, legal opinion letters, and interpretive rulings and policy statements involving state agencies and federal regulatory bodies/agencies including:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • FFIEC
  • Federal Reserve Board (FRB)
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Texas Department of Banking
  • California Division of Financial Institutions

Representation of payments, banking and financial services clients regarding legal and regulatory issues related to financial services, including requirements of and compliance with:

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • Anti-Money Laundering laws, U.S. PATRIOT ACT, OFAC
  • UCC Article 4A
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA)/Regulation E
  • Check21 Act/Check Imaging
  • Regulation CC (Funds Availability)
  • Truth in Lending Act/Regulation Z
  • NACHA and other card and payment association rules and requirements
  • Various state money-transmission laws (including virtual currency regulations)
  • Various federal and state privacy laws and data security breach laws

Banking and Financial Technology Agreements

  • Representation of banking and financial services clients regarding: banking-related software services agreements (including outsourcing agreements); agreements regarding accounts receivable/payable management via electronic data interchange (EDI); agreements regarding one-stop payments management for retail customers.
  • Representation of and provision of legal advice to various banking, financial services and corporate clients regarding: treasury management services (such as ACH, wire transfers, Check21 and remote capture issues); Internet banking (including user agreements); ATM/check card services; merchant payment card and credit card processing services; end-user license agreements; website terms of use and privacy policies (including ensuring compliance with Gramm-Leach-Bliley, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), European Union requirements and California-model privacy laws).
  • Advise financial institutions in third-party vendor negotiations regarding mobile banking and mobile banking “white label” platforms and related third-party due diligence.

Data Privacy and Security

Representation of various banking, financial services, corporate and retail clients regarding compliance with:

  • State data breach notification laws, including analysis of breach incident computer forensic reports, state-by-state analysis of applicable notification laws, interaction and consultation with various state regulatory authorities, drafting data security breach notification letters and related frequently asked questions (FAQs), and providing research and advice regarding credit monitoring options and products.
  • Federal Right to Financial Privacy, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), California Song-Beverly Act, federal CAN-SPAM Act, various state e-mail laws, federal and state laws regarding restriction on use of driver’s license information and various state credit freeze laws.
  • Work with numerous financial institutions regarding problems and losses due to financial fraud conducted by electronic funds transfers, including via the ACH network, wires and debit and credit cards.

Retail

  • Loyalty/ Rewards Programs, Advertising and Offers and “Big Data.” Representation regarding privacy issues related to using mobile devices that use geo-location or geo-fencing functions for real-time couponing and deals, as well as customer and participant data collection.
  • Marketing and Promotions. Representation of various corporate and retail clients regarding legal and regulatory issues applicable to gift cards, promotional cards and other stored-value products, including card program structure and drafting card disclosure language and terms and conditions of use.
  • Electronic payments. Representation of numerous corporate, retail, restaurant and banking clients regarding electronic payments and related processing agreements.
  • Entry of U.K.-based Supermarket Chain into the U.S. Market. Worked directly as outside corporate counsel with 45+ in-house business clients to draft and negotiate agreements for the U.S. multi-state launch and operations of major U.K.-based supermarket chain, including: commercial banking, credit card, payment processing and ATM machine agreements; private label and branded product supplier agreements; corporate payables agreements; and various consulting services and survey/reporting services agreements.
  • Counsel to mobile-based advertising/marketing and loyalty/rewards company with regard to regulatory, compliance and privacy/data security issues (including data analytics and “big data” issues).
  • Provide legal advice to retailers/merchants on closed-loop gift card products, both physical and virtual cards and card accounts, including advice regarding unclaimed property issues.
  • Work with retailers and merchants regarding payment processing agreements and point-of-sale/point-of-purchase software and hardware, including mobile payment acceptance issues, including providing regulatory and compliance advice with applicable laws and security requirements like PCI-DSS.
  • Work with fuel and c-store retailers with regard to a variety of fuel pump and “pay at the pump” payments and advertising issues.
  • Unclaimed Property. Representation of various corporate and retail clients regarding legal and regulatory issues applicable to unclaimed property and escheat laws.

Digital and E-Commerce Merchants

  • Representation of software, computer hardware, banking, Internet and retail corporate clients (including traditional and online-only clients) regarding e-commerce technology transactions and distribution activities such as: licensing, sales, marketing, distribution, alliance, vendor, subcontractor, outsourcing and payment processing agreements (including service level agreements); use of the Internet for marketing activities; formation of strategic alliances, cross-marketing arrangements, website development agreements, website hosting agreements, website privacy policies and conditions of use; protection and licensing of copyright, trademark and service mark intellectual property; software licensing and end-user licensing.
  • Representation of e-commerce and m-commerce website and app developers with regard to payment processing and payment acceptance options.
  • Representation of local “daily deal” type company with regard to terms and conditions of use and related privacy/data security issues.
  • Work with businesses seeking to “mobilize” their workforce via payment acceptance on mobile devices, contracting via mobile device and providing a “paperless” invoicing process.

Memberships & Involvement

  • State Bar of Texas
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Board of Directors
  • State Bar of California
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Texas Association of Bank Counsel, President-Elect
  • Federal Reserve Board Faster Payments Task Force, Member

Community/Civic Activities

  • IAPP Austin Knowledge Net, Member and former Co-Chair
  • University of Texas Ex-Student Association (Texas Exes)
  • Phi Beta Kappa 
  • University of Texas President’s Council 
  • University of Texas Junior Fellow
  • Named a Leading Banking and Finance Lawyer by Chambers USA, 2015