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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 3 Issue: 1
(January 2009)


News

The European Commission is proposing a review of invoicing rules under the VAT Directive 2006/112/EC, so that paper and electronic invoices are treated equally in VAT terms, which it hopes will stimulate growth in e-invoicing. Under the Directive, e-invoices will currently only be accepted in Member States if the 'authenticity of the origin and the integrity of their content' are guaranteed by an electronic signature or by means of electronic data interchange, i.e. through email ≠ a practice that is currently not required with paper invoices. The Commission adopted a proposal ≠ based on the Commission's Communication on the 'technological developments in the field of electronic invoicing' ≠ on 28 January, with an aim to 'eliminate the current barriers to e-invoicing in the VAT Directive by treating paper and electronic invoices equally'. / read more

The European Parliament will vote on a proposal from the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) to ask the European Commission to legislate on microcredit schemes in Europe on 19 February. The proposal calls on the Commission to introduce a harmonised regulatory framework for microcredit providers and to remove problems caused by competition and money laundering rules, which may hinder people without a permanent address or ID documents from accessing a loan. / read more

The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) will issue its Perimeter Guidance manual - which is aimed at businesses unsure about whether their activities will fall within the scope of the proposed Payment Services Regulations 2008 (PSR) - at the end of March. / read more


Features

The number of high profile data security breaches seems to continue unabated. This month, hackers managed to steal the details of over four million people from an e-commerce provider. This adds to other high profile security breaches over the last two years, particularly by prominent UK Government departments. Against this background the European Commission, as part of its reform of the telecommunications sector, is proposing a Directive ('Proposal') amending, amongst others, the E-Privacy Directive1, which currently serves to enhance the protection of individuals' privacy and personal data in the electronic communications sector. The principal change proposed is a requirement for the notification of data security breaches. This has proved controversial during the legislative process. Although the Commission, European Parliament and Council clearly wish to make organisations responsible for data security, there is disagreement over how this should be achieved. / read more

The Payment Security Standards Council released an update to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards in October 2008. The update provides additional clarifications and explanations of the requirements that help ensure that merchants and merchant service providers have a sensible pathway in protecting cardholder account data and are adequately compliant. Bob Russo, General Manager at the PCI Security Standards Council, examines what merchants and financial services need to know in setting the standard for payment security. / read more

On 1 October 2008, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC) released the long-awaited update to the Data Security Standard (DSS). This new version, 1.2, instituted a number of relatively minor changes and clarifications that auditors, merchants, and service providers had all been asking for. Most were simple language additions and deletions, but two significant areas were dramatically modified. / read more

The European Commission is currently reviewing the Virtual Block Exemption, which expires in May 2010 and permits agreements relating to the terms and conditions on the sale of goods or services which would otherwise be prohibited under Article 81 of the EC Treaty. Stephen Tupper and Sarah Phillips, of Watson Farley & Williams LLP, examine how this Exemption has allowed differential pricing on the internet to develop, and assess whether the Commission will amend the existing legislation, or promulgate new legislation. / read more

A number of countries have introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) for payments in an attempt to combat fraud. Dave Birch, a Director at Consult Hyperion, examines potential issues with 2FA such as the need to issue numerous tokens to enable the second stage of authentication, and argues that it may be sensible to provide second stage authentication through a device that people already own - such as a mobile phone - but not until certain security issues have been solved. / read more

Credit card companies began to increase the amount of 'behavioural' data shared in December, in order to assess which new customers are at risk of becoming over-indebted, using a series of trigger points. Christopher Rees, Nick Gardner and Kate Brimsted, at Herbert Smith LLP, examine potential issues with this, such as possible use for identifying least-valuable customers and data protection concerns. / read more

A Swedish court has ruled that a person cannot be taxed on winnings from online gambling sites based in another EU Member State, as winnings from the state operator are not taxable. Ulf Isaksson and Mattias Pettersson examine the application of Swedish law to online gambling winnings, and the court's reasoning in coming to its decision. / read more

Prepaid cards can be a valuable tool in teaching children too young to open a bank account how to manage their money, however there is a danger that they can be used for inappropriate purchases. Tanya Bule, a Manager at Edgar, Dunn & Company, examines the regulation of pre-paid cards, focussing on issues around age verification such as parental consent, cards issued as gifts to children, and merchant blocking using merchant category codes. / 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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