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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 10 Issue: 4
(April 2016)


The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (‘PSR’) issued its final guidance on 24 March on how it will monitor and enforce compliance with the new EU Interchange Fee Regulation (‘IFR’), which introduces caps on interchange fees charged by debit and credit card issuers. / read more

A number of US agencies, led by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, published on 21 March ‘Interagency Guidance to Issuing Banks on Applying Customer Identification Program (‘CIP’) Requirements to Holders of Prepaid Cards’ (‘Guidance’), which provides a number of clarifications as to when banks must perform CIP and on whom, in regard to prepaid cards. / read more

The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (‘PSR’) launched a consultation on 15 March into its draft guidance that seeks feedback on its proposed approach to designating alternative switching schemes and the monitoring of their compliance with the Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 (‘PARs’) in the UK. / read more


Blockchain technology will need little introduction to those who have followed the news in the financial services sector in particular over the past year or so. An internet-based distributed ledger, blockchain technology initially garnered attention as the technology behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin. However, recent interest has resulted from its wider applications in the financial services sector. Fiona Ghosh, Gita Shivarattan and Rhoda Bryans of Addleshaw Goddard LLP take a look at the pros and cons of utilising blockchain technology, and its regulatory impact within the UK financial services sector. / read more

The Australian Government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put forward a number of reforms designed to increase competition in the Australian FinTech sector, as part of a wider focus on stimulating innovation in the country. Michelle Segaert, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs, discusses the reforms put forward, the reactions from the FinTech industry and the banking sector, and the Government’s other areas of priority for FinTech. / read more

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) published its final report on the Financial Advice Market Review in March, which included recommendations to help firms develop robo-advice models. Kate Monserrate, a Director at business consultancy firm Simplify Consulting, and Tim Wright, Partner at Pillsbury, assess the growing market for robo-advice, which involves the use of automated technology to enable consumers to gain low-cost online access to investment markets and other financial products. Kate and Tim explore the role of the FCA in developing the market, and consider some of the main risks faced by providers of such advice. / read more

In recent years, the significant impact of marketplace lending on the banking industry has threatened the old way of thinking about providing financial services to consumers. However, the success of marketplace lenders has not escaped the attention of US federal regulators, who have begun to focus on and take action with respect to this delivery method, as Richard P. Eckman and PJ Hoffman of Pepper Hamilton LLP discuss. / read more

The Australian media (principal among them The Australian Financial Review) has been chronicling a dispute between Bitcoin start-ups and some of Australia’s biggest banks. The start-ups, having had their accounts closed by the banks for reasons of ‘risk’ or ‘policy,’ contacted the media, inferring that the accounts had been closed for anti-competitive reasons. This publicity attracted some political support, which prompted the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (‘ACCC’) to investigate. It was reported in February 2016 that the ACCC had concluded its investigation, declining to pursue the banks for anti-competitive conduct under the cartel provisions of the relevant legislation, as each of the banks had independently acted in order to manage risk. / read more

Payment initiation services (‘PIS’) have arrived in Lithuania; in response, the Bank of Lithuania, the country’s financial supervisory authority, has published a set of Principles of Best Practice, non-mandatory rules that it is hoped PIS providers will follow. Tomas Kontautas and Artūras Asakavičius of Sorainen discuss the background for payment services in Lithuania and these Principles. / read more

About Payments & FinTech Lawyer

The monthly publication covering legal, regulatory and policy developments relating to the fast-moving payments and FinTech sectors. Key topics include mobile payments, e-money, prepaid and other payment cards, online banking, digital currencies such as Bitcoin, card fraud and other cyber crime, RegTech, robo-advice, P2P lending, and crowdfunding, as well as regulatory regimes such as the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Payment Accounts Directive, and the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive / read more

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