The possibilities for RegTech to transform the regulation of the U.S. financial sector are staggering. The sector spends billions per year on compliance tasks that technology could rapidly automate. 

At the recent American Banker RegTech conference, JoAnn Barefoot, CEO of  the Barefoot Innovation Group, highlighted the potential of real-time compliance. The logic is clear: compliance is automatic, and can be monitored in real time. 

The question is: will it scale? 

Implementing this kind of technology at a multinational retail and investment bank will be a world apart from implementing it at a regional bank operating in one or two states. And the core philosophy of regulators is that everyone should comply to the same rules. If tech can't be applied to everyone, it's got a problem. 

For RegTech innovators and regulators alike, the hunt will be on to find the tech that is both effective and scalable. It's a new kind of innovation, but there is a multi-billion dollar market up for grabs.