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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 7 Issue: 3
(March 2013)


The Federal Trade Commission issued a staff report on 8 March as part of its efforts to increase consumer protection in the emergent mobile payments marketplace, highlighting key consumer protection issues. / read more

The European Commission (EC) closed on 22 February its 18-month investigation into the European Payments Council’s (EPC) proposed standardisation process for e-payments. / read more

Bankinter, the Spanish bank, unveiled on 4 March a contactless m-payments service which eliminates the need for a secure element inside the handset, marking the first time a service provider can offer an NFC service without needing a manufacturer or telco to produce the secure element. / read more


Over the last decade the capabilities of mobile phones has increased dramatically particularly with the huge growth in use of the smartphone and tablet. This has also led to the rapid increase in mobile payments. An average smartphone user is now reported to download 37 apps with over 1,600 new apps added to app stores daily and over 45 billion apps forecasted to have been downloaded in 2012. / read more

The scale of the allegations, concerning failures to implement anti-money laundering controls, made by US authorities against the UK-based bank HSBC, are striking - as is the size of the settlement signed by HSBC in response to the investigation by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee. The Subcommittee's report catalogued HSBC's failures to protect the US financial system from exposure to vulnerabilities. Steven Philippsohn, of PCB Litigation, examines the allegations made against HSBC and the conclusions that can be drawn from the Subcommittee's report. / read more

The Federal Trade Commission has initiated an action to the Nevada federal court against a self-described 'pioneer in the automation of financial systems,' Ideal, and other companies, over allegations that the Defendants were engaging in 'cramming,' a practice whereby a person or company charges consumer debit or credit cards or bank accounts, having acquired that information elsewhere, for purchases the consumer had not asked for. Matthew E. Liebson, a Partner at Thompson Hine LLP, discusses the FTC's complaint and explains how 'cramming' works in practice. / read more

Mobile commerce has a lot of promise - but it has for a long time. For nearly a decade now, various players have been trying to build mobile payment services. PayPal first enabled SMS-based payments in 2006 and app-based payments in 2010. European telecoms came together in 2003 to build Simpay, which was intended to enable pan-European mobile payment services, but was called off two years later. And the major American telecoms have been working on their Isis mobile wallet joint venture for over three years now. Clearly the challenges to mobile commerce are real, explains Ben Brown, a Consultant specialising in mobile commerce at First Annapolis Consulting, Amsterdam. / read more

On 17 January 2013, the US Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued comprehensive final regulations implementing the information reporting and withholding requirements that were mandated by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (‘FATCA’) - an act targeting offshore tax shelters. Michelle W. Cohen and Steven Eichorn, of Ifrah PLLC, discuss the legislative history of FACTA, the causes for concern and the likelihood of successful implementation. / read more

Following the release of the FTC’s staff report on mobile payments, Sophie Cameron spoke to Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, about the FTC report and industry efforts to increase shared security standards. / read more

The European Commission published the Fourth Money Laundering Directive and the new Wire Transfer Regulation, which if enacted will impact online financial service and payments services providers. Rachpal Thind and Kai Zhang, of Sidley Austin LLP, discuss the key changes proposed and what they mean for service providers within the context of customer due diligence requirements and cross-border operations. / read more

After a long wait, the Second Electronic Money Directive was transposed into French law by Law No. 2013-100 of 28 January 2013 containing various provisions adapting legislation to EU Law in economic and financial matters (known as the 'DADU Law'). / read more

(This article originally appeared as the March 2013 Guest Editor's Insight column.) On 22 February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a data privacy and security settlement with HTC America, Inc. (HTC) that could have far-reaching effects for providers of mobile financial services, device manufacturers, and other technology companies1. Specifically, HTC agreed to settle allegations that it had engaged in unfair and deceptive practices regarding access to and use of personal information stored on HTC mobile devices. Under the settlement, HTC will develop and release software patches for millions of devices, establish a comprehensive security program for product development, and undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years. HTC is also prohibited from making any false or misleading statements about the privacy and security of consumers' information that is stored on HTC devices. Included below is a summary of the FTC's allegations and the potential impact on new mobile financial services. By Harriet Pearson and Mark W. Brennan of Hogan Lovells. / 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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