Non-traditional financial firms such as Square, Lending Club and SoFi could soon have some of the same powers now held by older, more established banks.

The nation's top bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said Friday that it would start issuing bank charters to online lenders, payment companies, and other financial technology firms——so-called Fintech companies.

Scott Pearson, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in financial regulation issues, said lenders will probably be the firms most interested in seeking a charter.

"It's going to create essentially a new option—rather than partnering with a bank or engaging in state-by-state compliance, you could pursue a charter," said Pearson, a partner in the Century City office of Ballard Spahr.