Payment Systems & Fintech

We know payments. For well over a decade, we have helped our payments and fintech clients grow their businesses, address compliance challenges, and resolve disputes. That’s why payment processors, ISOs, ISVs, payment facilitators, and fintechs across the country trust AGG with their most important legal needs.


Our Payment Systems & Fintech team works with merchant acquirers, card issuers, digital asset payment processors, and fintechs to navigate the legal and regulatory challenges unique to the payments space.

We are proud to be our clients’ trusted advisors on corporate and regulatory matters, including governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial agreements, financial and securities regulation, and compliance matters.

Meanwhile, our litigators represent payment and fintech companies in government investigations and enforcement actions, including by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), state attorneys general, and bankruptcy trustees. We also represent clients in private disputes, including consumer litigation, class action disputes initiated by merchants and cardholders, and litigation relating to data breaches.

Appreciating that most clients would prefer to avoid litigation and regulatory entanglements, we strive to identify and manage issues before they become actionable disputes. To that end, we provide compliance advice and assist clients with internal initiatives to address potential problems before they escalate. We also assist clients with the implementation of innovative programs that meet the requirements of the patchwork of federal and state regulations and, where applicable, card brand rules.

We’re at the forefront of the legal trends that affect the payments industry and fintech firms and are frequently asked to provide thought leadership by the Electronic Transactions Association (“ETA”) and the Association of Payments Professionals (“APP,” formerly known as MAC). Our payment lawyers have also been recognized for excellence in their fields by Chambers USA, Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite, the Daily Report, and Super Lawyers.


  • Advising payment processors and ISOs in connection with acquisitions and asset purchase agreements
  • Advising publicly traded clients in SEC reporting and corporate governance matters
  • Advising clients regarding commercial contracts, sponsorship agreements, and processing agreements with domestic and international referral partners, financial institutions, vendors, and merchants
  • Negotiating software platform agreements to provide consumer-facing payments experiences and to facilitate merchant onboarding and risk underwriting
    • Successfully representing clients in, and advising clients regarding the risks associated with, FTC and CFPB enforcement actions, examinations, and investigations
    • Successfully guiding payment processors, ISOs, and payment facilitators through compliance with civil investigative demands, supervisory reviews, card brand inquiries, and government subpoenas
    • Successfully representing payment processors and ISOs in disputes with U.S. government regulatory agencies, state attorneys general, and bankruptcy trustees
    • Successfully defending claims brought by the FTC against payment processors and ISOs related to the ownership and proper disposition of chargeback reserve funds
    • Advising clients regarding risks associated with foreign government investigations
      • Successfully representing payment processors in class actions initiated by merchants and consumers challenging fees, processing agreement terms, and implementation of card-brand programs
      • Successfully representing payment processors against multimillion-dollar claims from referral partners, including claims for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, negligence, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty
      • Successfully defending and prosecuting the rights of payment processors in litigation with current and former merchants, including in disputes involving early termination of merchant agreements, unreimbursed chargebacks, alleged fee discrepancies, and misdirection of merchant funds
      • Successfully representing payment processors in litigation challenging the validity of card brand liability assessments
      • Successfully representing card issuers in disputes with cardholders under the FCRA, EFTA, the TCPA, and TILA
        • Assisting clients with the implementation of innovative offerings and platforms under patchwork of federal and state regulations and card association rules
        • Providing compliance advice regarding CFPB and FTC rules and enforcement actions, state auto-renewal laws, NACHA compliance, surcharging, and participation in EBT programs
        • Creating comprehensive compliance guidance for fintech and payments clients addressing state and federal laws, including money transmitter rules and regulations
        • Assisting clients within the payments industry with government relations and regulatory counseling, including FCRA compliance and data breach response
        • Assisting clients with respect to FinCEN requirements and domestic and international AML compliance
          • National representation of payment processors in merchant bankruptcy cases, including prosecution of pre-petition and administrative claims, addressing setoff and recoupment issues, safeguarding pre-petition reserves and working to minimize chargeback exposure, defending alleged automatic stay violations, and defending avoidance actions by bankruptcy trustees
          • National representation of card issuer in the defense of preference and fraudulent transfer claims, under both the Bankruptcy Code and state statutes, brought by bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees, and court-appointed receivers


            Members of AGG’s Payment Systems & Fintech team actively participate in several committees and working groups within the ETA, including to advance the ETA’s Underwriting Guidelines.


            Members of AGG’s Payment Systems & Fintech team are also active within APP, which is dedicated to educating payments professionals regarding privacy, security, and fraud risks.


            AGG Payments & Fintech team co-chair Ed Marshall is the inaugural co-chair of the Payment Systems Subcommittee within the ABA Section of Litigation’s Commercial and Business Litigation Committee.


            AGG Payments & Fintech co-chair Theresa Kananen was among those selected for the ETA’s inaugural 40 Under 40 as a “game changer at the intersection of payments and technology” and her “leadership and actions [that] are driving the payments industry forward.”


            AGG Payments & Fintech team member Erin Doyle is a CAFCA Certified AML Fintech Compliance Associate.

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