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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 8
(August 2017)


The UK Payments Strategy Forum (‘PSF’) published its ‘Blueprint for the Future of UK Payments’ for public consultation on 28 July 2017, which sets out a design and implementation approach for a new payment system for the UK that the Payments Systems Regulator (‘PSR’) describes as “the most radical change to the payments industry since the 1960s.” The PSF, which was set up by the PSR to lead the development of strategic initiatives where industry works together to deliver innovation for the benefit of payment systems users, has set out a New Payments Architecture (‘NPA’) designed to provide greater innovation, simpler access, increased adaptability, improved competition and better security. / read more

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) published on 25 July 2017 an Investor Bulletin on initial coin offerings (‘ICOs’), which advised that depending on the individual case, the virtual coins or tokens offered as part of ICOs may be securities and if so the ICO is thus subject to US federal securities laws. / read more


The European Commission published on 26 June 2017 a supranational assessment of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the internal market and relating to cross-border activities, the first report of this nature carried out at a supranational level in the EU. The report explores money laundering and terrorist financing risks across a number of sectors and products, including newer areas such as the FinTech space, and makes recommendations for mitigating these risks. Michael McKee and Ian Mason of DLA UK LLP discuss the report, the risks highlighted therein and the report’s recommendations. / read more

In June 2017, Hogan Lovells and Innovate Finance co-published a white paper called ‘The Future of RegTech for Regulators,’ which studies the FinTech and RegTech initiatives across the globe and provides insight into what the US can learn from them. Richard Schaberg, Laura Biddle, and Loyal Horsley of Hogan Lovells, who were involved in the creation of the white paper, explore the report’s ‘holistic approach’ to integrating RegTech for regulators, which involves a framework with three approaches. / read more

Following the granting of full authorisation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) to two of the UK’s largest peer-to-peer lending platforms, Thomas Donegan, Anna Doyle, Kyle Koh and Jeewon Serrato of Shearman & Sterling LLP take a look at the recent development of the UK peer-to-peer lending sector, discussing the implementation of recent changes by the FCA and at how it could be argued that peer-to-peer lending is steadily becoming a mainstream financial service. / read more

In June 2017 two US states - Nevada and Vermont - passed laws concerning blockchain, with the legislation following a law enacted in Arizona in April this year on the same subject. The laws address, for example, contract enforcement in regard to blockchain transactions, something that is not standardised across the US. Kari Larsen and Kimberly Chow describe here the latest US state efforts alongside activity at a federal level on blockchain, and discuss the kind of regulation industry is looking for. / read more

Fiona Ghosh and Isha Chander of Addleshaw Goddard discuss the work their firm is doing in the FinTech space through AG Elevate, a fast track 12 month programme for selected FinTechs designed to accelerate them through the legal challenges facing startups. Fiona and Isha also reflect on the experience of Mespo, an intelligent money manager, and its attitude to regulation. / read more

A controversial issue concerns the European Banking Authority’s (‘EBA’) Regulatory Technical Standards (‘RTS’) on Strong Customer Authentication and Common and Secure Communication, to which the European Commission has now responded by proposing amendments, and specifically the access to customer bank accounts that Account Information Services (‘AIS’) and Payment Initiation Services (‘PIS’) will have. Specifically, the draft RTS would ban access to customer bank accounts via the practice of screen scraping, with dedicated interfaces being the only way to gain such access; the Commission meanwhile has proposed that if such dedicated interfaces fail, there should be a ‘fall back’ option available, which some have suggested would be akin to an enhanced form of screen scraping. Here, Diederik Bruggink, Senior Adviser Payments at the European Savings and Retail Banking Group, provides his opinion on the debate, arguing that dedicated interfaces are the only viable option. / 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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