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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 8 Issue: 7
(July 2014)


The European Banking Authority (EBA) published on 4 July its opinion on virtual currencies (VCs), assessing whether VCs ‘should or can be regulated’ and encouraging national supervisory authorities to warn payment, credit and e-money institutions against buying, selling or holding VCs in the absence of a ‘long term’ regulatory regime, with the aim being to ‘mitigate those risks that arise from the interaction between VC schemes and regulated financial services.’ / read more

The European Commission, as part of its July infringements package, requested on 10 July that Hungary respect EU rules in regards to mobile payments after state owned National Mobile Payment Ltd was given exclusive rights to operate the national mobile payment system for public services. / read more

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revised guidelines on 1 July that explain the extent to which financial institutions must observe access and correction rights to personal data they hold, whilst continuing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, following the coming into force of new data protection rules in Singapore on 2 July. / read more


In April 2014, the European Central Bank (‘ECB’) published a report entitled ‘Card payments in Europe - a renewed focus on SEPA for cards,’ which aimed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the status of card payments in Europe. It also presents the rationale behind the Eurosystem’s views, policies and objectives in the field of card payments and the ultimate aim of SEPA for cards: a harmonised, competitive and innovative European card payments area. Iddo de Jong, Senior Expert, DG Market Infrastructure and Payments at the ECB, discusses the ambitions for SEPA for cards. / read more

Approximately $65 billion was loaded onto general purpose reloadable (‘GPR’) prepaid cards in 2012, more than double the amount in 20091. Five percent of adults, or about 12 million people, use prepaid cards at least once a month. A Pew Charitable Trust survey found that most users use prepaid cards ‘to avoid the risk of overdraft fees and as a commitment device, or a tool to restrict their ability to overspend or to incur interest charges.’2 Prepaid cards may be viewed as an alternative or complement to checking accounts3. Given the significance of prepaid cards, both Visa and the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are seeking to regulate them - Visa through a designation and the CFPB through future rules. / read more

The UK government recently unveiled draft legislation to modernise the payments system by introducing cheque imaging in the UK. John Worthy and Clare Burman of Fieldfisher consider the proposal, its anticipated benefits and whether it will solve the problem of what to do with cheques. / read more

Operation Choke Point has received a significant amount of criticism, which reached a head after a financial services trade association moved to sue federal bank regulators, accusing the agencies of improperly issuing and enforcing new policies that prevent banks from handling transactions for payday lenders and other ‘high risk’ online merchants. Allyson B. Baker and Thomas E. Gilbertsen of Venable LLP, analyse the concerns and the extent to which a party can be held liable for another’s conduct. / read more

The UK recently announced two new cybersecurity initiatives, CBEST - a ‘threat led’ simulated cyber attack framework launched by The Bank of England, and Cyber Essentials - a baseline technical control standard and assessment framework produced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’). In this article, Paul Midian, Director, Cyber Security at PwC and Chair at CREST, the independent body that represents the technical security industry, analyses both initiatives. / read more

The Italian Data Protection Authority has produced new rules on the protection of users’ data when making payments through mobile devices with the publishing of a Resolution in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic on 16 June. This Resolution puts forward several limits to the use of data by participants in the mobile payments market, as Laura Liguori and Federica De Santis of Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale explain. / read more

The most important thing to establish from the outset are what your motives are for going mobile. If you perform an evaluation of existing channels/contact points for your current and future customers, you will quickly discover that mobile is becoming the channel of choice for many people to check their accounts, transfer money and generally keep up with their finances. / read more

The Regulation implementing Spain’s new anti-money laundering (‘AML’) law entered into force on 6 May, creating a sense of certainty for Spanish businesses with regard to AML obligations by updating a 1995 law with legislation that takes into account more recent technological developments, such as e-money. Juan Palomino of Pérez-Llorca analyses this AML law and why the Spanish AML regulations are considered to be one of the toughest legal regimes established to combat money laundering in Europe. / 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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