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Responsible Innovation

The business of banking is rapidly changing with the increasing adoption of new approaches and technologies by banks and their customers. These innovations can provide convenience and accessibility, but also have the potential to bring risks.

The OCC has established an Office of Innovation and has implemented a framework supporting responsible innovation. The office serves as the central point of contact and clearing house for requests and information related to innovation.

Responsible Innovation

Outreach & Technical Assistance

  • Establishes ongoing dialogue with banks, nonbanks (including financial technology (fintech) companies), and other stakeholders
  • Provides technical assistance to banks and nonbanks
  • Promotes awareness and understanding of OCC positions and expectations

Awareness & Training

  • Fosters OCC staff awareness of responsible innovation and emerging trends
  • Improves training and enhances the skills of examiners and other OCC staff
  • Develops processes to build and leverage OCC experience and expertise

Coordination & Facilitation

  • Implements a process to streamline and coordinate innovation-related decisions to ensure transparent and timely responses to inquiries
  • Creates a process for OCC participation in bank-run pilots


  • Assesses continuously the landscape and trends in financial innovation
  • Uses research and ongoing stakeholder dialogue to inform OCC policy, supervision, and analysis

Interagency Collaboration

  • Uses existing communication channels to share information and collaborate with domestic and international regulators

On July 31, 2018, the OCC released the Comptroller's Licensing Manual Supplement, Considering Charter Applications From Financial Technology Companies. The Supplement provides detail on how the OCC would evaluate applications for a special purpose charter from financial technology (fintech) companies, and discusses key considerations including, governance, risk management, capital, liquidity, financial inclusion and contingency planning. The document also describes the OCC's approach to supervising newly chartered special purpose national banks.

Please see the Supplement for details around starting the application process. Should you have any questions regarding the process, please email the Office of Innovation.

Related News and Issuances

11/03/2022 NR 2022-134 OCC to Host Virtual Innovation Office Hours
10/27/2022 NR 2022-133 OCC Announces Office of Financial Technology
10/06/2022 NR 2022-124 OCC Releases Bank Supervision Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 2023