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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 3 Issue: 10
(October 2009)


The EU Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and EU governments should implement a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) communication campaign "comparable to that afforded for the euro introduction", said Gerard Hartsink, Chair of the European Payments Council (EPC) on 13 October, three weeks before the second step of the SEPA project - the cross-border SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) scheme - is set to become operational in the EU. According to EPC figures, around 70% of European banks are ready to implement the SDD as of November. / read more

The UK Competition Commission must reconsider its ban on point of sale payment protection insurance (PPI), the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled in a 16 October judgment. The Tribunal said it would 'quash the Commission's decision to impose the [point of sale prohibition]...and remit that question to the Commission for reconsideration', following an appeal from Barclays and Lloyds to overturn the Commission's decision. / read more

The UK Payments Council issued industry guidance on 13 October on the 'implementation and compliance' with the Payment Service Regulations (PSRs) - the measures implementing the Payment Services Directive (PSD) in the UK. The guidance gives an 'industry view' on how the PSRs should be applied, read a UK Payments Council statement. / read more


Recent UK cases have highlighted the importance of compliance with data protection requirements for those in the financial services sector. This is particularly the case for firms in the payments sector who may be processing large amounts of personal data - including sometimes bank details - and which may need to disclose such data to parties outside the EU. Such transfers are heavily regulated under the EU data protection regime. It can also often be difficult to determine the role that payment providers play from a data protection perspective. For example, in the case involving possible EU enforcement action against the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) for disclosing payment details to the US Treasury, regulators took different views on whether SWIFT acted as a data processor, on behalf of banks, or as a data controller, directly subject to EU data protection requirements. / read more

The SEPA Credit Transfer scheme and the SEPA Direct Debit scheme have been implemented to harmonise financial transfers in the EU by replacing national 'legacy' payment systems. However, questions remain regarding the existence of a 'single' payment area in the EU. Dr. Stephan Schuster, Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets Policy at Deutsche Bank, reviews the achievements and the challenges of a harmonised European payments area. / read more

In 2009, the UK's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) allocated £30 million to promote the development of digital technologies in Britain. The creation of micropayment platforms - some of which are already present in the media and telecoms industries - was part of the TSB's 'Strategy for Digital Britain', to be fully implemented by 2010. Phillip Rees and Meghan Nolan, of Hugh James, examine the place of micropayments within the global payments industry. / read more

eHealth services make extensive use of data analytics on sensitive patient and user data to provide valuable benefits to users, giving them more control over the management of their health. Anonymisation can be critical to enabling data to be shared and used freely on these applications without compromising users’ privacy. Pharmaceutical and device companies are at the same time granting greater access to patient-level anonymised clinical trial data to qualified researchers through platforms such as Richard Bird and Nicola Kung of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer analyse the recent decision of the UK Information Tribunal (the ‘Tribunal’) concerning a release of anonymised clinical trial data - Queen Mary University of London v. Information Commissioner in August 2016 (the ‘QMUL Decision’) - and survey the approaches to anonymisation of personal information in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. / read more

More complex commercial relationships in the B2B sector have changed the way commercial card schemes work. The multiplicity of end-users and suppliers in most organisations calls for a more efficient and flexible system for processing commercial payments, a system that could rely on the implementation of commercial card schemes. Frank B. Martien, a Partner at First Annapolis, shares his views on how the B2B sector could benefit from the further development of commercial card schemes. / read more

The 2009 Payment System Settlement Finality (PSSF) Law aims to provide a legal foundation for the provision of financial services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) region. The PSSF Law - inspired by financial 'best practices' around the world - will contribute to develop confidence in the UAE's transaction processing systems while creating sufficient protection for operators in this market. Al-Harith Sinclair, a Partner at DLA Piper, examines the practical implications of the PSSF Law in the creation of a secure payment processing market for the UAE. / read more

Betfair began a legal action against the Dutch Ministry of Justice, accusing them of breaching Dutch law and European law by instructing Dutch banks to block payments to online gambling sites unlicensed by the Dutch government. Mark Warrington, Legal Counsel at Betfair, examines why the Dutch government, and a number of other EU Member States, are attempting to block banks and payments service providers from processing the payments of bets made over the internet. / read more

The use of social networking sites for third party advertising has raised a number of concerns from consumers about receiving unsolicited advertising - an illegal practice under the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. Ted Lean, Director of Legal and Corporate Services at PhonepayPlus - regulators of phone-paid services in the UK - discusses how the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice regulates services that allow third party advertising on their sites. / 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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