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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 6 Issue: 11
(November 2012)


Bank of England Executive Director Andrew Haldane announced his support for the creation of a shared database of customer bank account details, at Occupy Economics’ Socially Useful Banking event on 29 October, to increase competition in the financial services market by removing barriers to entry and enabling customer account switching. / read more

The European Central Bank released its ‘Virtual Currency Schemes’ analysis on 29 October, which states that such currencies pose ‘reputational risk’ to banks due to their instability and potential for bad press. / read more

Kickflip Inc. launched a federal antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, in the US District Court for the District of Delaware on 26 October, claiming that the social network illegally monopolises the virtual currency market. / read more


Protecting the privacy and security of data is highly critical for the payments industry, especially in view of the increasingly digital dependent environment in which businesses and consumers operate. To address security concerns the European Central Bank (the ‘ECB’) published a draft report in April 2012, ‘Recommendations for the Security of Internet Payments’ (the ‘Recommendations’). The Recommendations were developed by the European Forum on the Security of Retail Payments, SecuRe Pay, a platform for voluntary cooperation between central bank overseers and supervisors. The consultation on the Recommendations is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. This will be followed by a process for integration of the Recommendations into the existing supervisory frameworks with payment service providers (‘PSPs’) and card payment schemes expected to implement the Recommendations by 1 July 2014. Importantly, some payment products are to be excluded from the scope of the Recommendations including, annonymous non reloadable prepaid cards and corporate cards. / read more

The decentralised digital currency Bitcoin has been the subject of much speculation, excitement and fear, especially in the past year or two; hackers have targeted Bitcoin exchanges and the media has centred on the potential use of the currency for criminal purposes. In September of this year, David Birch, Director at Consult Hyperion, spoke at the Bitcoin Conference in London. Here, he discusses the attention Bitcoin has received, what has been learnt from recent developments, and what the future could hold. / read more

Policy makers in the US have exhibited increased interest in mobile payments in 2012 as new types of payment methods and technologies have continued to proliferate. A key driver behind the development and delivery of these new payment products and services is the enhanced functionality that modern handheld and portable devices offer, as well as the ever-growing penetration of such devices in the consumer marketplace. Ryan H. Rogers, an Associate at Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, D.C., explains the regulatory discussion surrounding mobile payments in the US throughout 2012. / read more

Earlier this year, the Government announced its intention to ban surcharges on credit and debit cards that are excessive (i.e. which exceed the actual costs of handling the payment). Since then, the Government has held a consultation1, taking responses to the Government's proposal for introducing this ban through an early implementation of Article 19 of the European Union's Consumer Rights Directive2 (the 'Directive'). / read more

Regulations supervising China's prepaid card industry came into force on 1 November 2012. The two sets of rules, managed by two separate regulatory bodies, offer differing views on the industry. Vincent X. Wang, Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, discusses the two, at times conflicting, regulations. / read more

The best way to protect the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information assets is through a scalable security program that emphasises risk mitigation, security best practices, and continuous process. Yet, for the better part of the decade, the undivided attention and resources of organisations have been focused squarely on achieving compliance with industry mandates or corporate security policies. Unfortunately for the industry, meeting compliance has not been the panacea for good security we once thought it was. More industry regulations, breach notification requirements, and increasing penalties haven't shielded anyone from experiencing a serious breach. After being centre stage for the better part of a decade, compliance is finally taking a back seat to security. / read more

Singapore ranked top of MasterCard’s Mobile Payments Readiness Index 2012, but what does this mean in practice. The regulatory environment and mobile infrastructure undoubtedly provides a firm foundation to spring board widespread uptake of mobile payments, but Singapore is not there yet. Derek Ho, Corporate Counsel at Sybase 365, sheds light on the reality of m-payments in Singapore. / read more

While having clear benefits, the Bring Your Own Device to work trend needs significant investment of time and resources to ensure security protocols are managed effectively. Armando Orozco, Senior Threat Analyst at net security firm Webroot, provides strategies for securing the BYOD environment. / read more

On 3 July 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit overturned a district court ruling, allowing a lawsuit by Patco Construction Co. to proceed against Peoples United Bank over $345,000 that was illegally taken from Patco’s bank accounts through internet fraud in 2009. The decision confirms financial institutions’ need to maintain rigorous account access security measures or face liability when their customers are defrauded. Andrew Lorentz, Brant Rockney, and Dan Davies of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, discuss the case in detail and the impact such a decision will have on the financial services industry. / 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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