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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 8 Issue: 4
(April 2014)


The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released on 25 March a notice on the tax treatment of virtual currencies including Bitcoin, declaring that virtual currencies will be treated as property and not as a currency, and clarifying that if taxpayers receive virtual currencies as payment, the fair market value - calculated as of the date received - must be declared as gross income. / read more

The UK Government launched an open consultation on SME finance on 28 March, following proposals announced at the 2014 Budget that would require banks to refer small and medium sized enterprises that have been rejected for loans to alternative finance providers. / read more

A number of Australian financial institutions including Westpac and Suncorp have called on the Australian government to amend regulations that the institutions claim are harming technological innovation, in a response, published on 8 April, to Australia’s 2014 Financial System Inquiry. / read more


‘Technological developments’ are one of seven key areas of focus, singled out by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in its Risk Outlook for 2014-15 (the ‘Risk Outlook’), published on 31 March 20141. Whilst the FCA acknowledges that technology encourages competition, citing high frequency trading and price comparison sites as examples, it is concerned about the potential threats that technological developments may represent for consumer protection, market integrity and competition. So, why is this? / read more

A survey recently conducted in Vietnam on behalf of Visa highlights that a gradual transition is taking place in the country, with the Vietnamese moving from cash transfers to a greater use of electronic payments. Tran Manh Hung and Dang Linh Chi of Baker & McKenzie’s Vietnam office discuss the survey’s findings, and examine the current regulations around electronic payments as well as recent developments. / read more

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin poses a number of questions and challenges to regulators; this article examines how regulators are responding to these challenges in the UK, the US and Singapore respectively. / read more

While e-commerce is gaining traction in Spain, the sector suffers from a lack of avaliable payment options online. While this can be viewed as an obstacle to the growth of e-commerce, it also presents an opportunity for e-payment platform providers that are now emerging on the Spanish market. Carlos Pombo, an Associate at Asensi Abogados law firm, discusses the state of Spain’s online payments market and explains why some e-payment platform providers are currently unregulated under Spanish legislation. / read more

The inadequacy of certain elements of the proposed crowdfunding legislation in France were quickly addressed by a package of reforms announced on 14 February. So is crowdfunding in France finally on its way to benefiting from tailored regulation? Gautier Chavanet, a Partner at Bignon Lebray, Paris, discusses the amendments and the importance of crowdfunding for small businesses in France. / read more

As early as 2005, the Singapore Government introduced regulations that required the mandatory electronic registration of buyers of prepaid SIM cards, as a security measure with the view that criminals could exploit prepaid SIM cards as an anonymous channel of payment to evade detection. Since then, each prepaid mobile user has been limited to a maximum of 10 prepaid SIM cards and must be at least 15 years of age. / read more

As m-commerce grows, recent research reveals that security is a major concern for consumers making payments by smartphone. The security threats against the mobile channel are growing; using the example of a recent malware attack on the mobile services of a bank in the Middle East, Nahim Fazal, Head of Cyber Security and International Business Development at cyber security technology company Blueliv, discusses the techniques criminals employ, and suggests a number of lessons that organisations should take from the malware attack on banks in the Middle East with a view to preventing security incidents within their own mobile offerings. / read more

Last month the UK’s financial services conduct regulator (FCA) published its provisional findings on the £1bn general insurance add-ons market nine months after Swinton was fined1 £7.38m for its sale of add-ons. Buying insurance as an add-on to another general insurance product can be a quick and convenient way for customers to secure the insurance cover they need. However, the FCA’s provisional findings suggest that the general insurance add-ons market does not always work in the customer’s favour. Consequently the FCA is calling for what it calls ‘a shake up’ of the market to redress poor competition and low levels of claims resulting in customers potentially being overcharged by up to £200 million a year for products that they may not need, use, or in some cases even know about. / 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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