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Payments & FinTech Lawyer

Volume: 9 Issue: 12
(December 2015)


The European Commission (‘EC’) is to present proposals to “strengthen the controls of non-banking payment methods such as electronic/anonymous payments, money remittances, cash-carriers, virtual currencies, transfers of gold or precious metals and pre-paid cards” in order to enhance money laundering and terrorist financing measures following a meeting of the EU Council and EU Member States on counter-terrorism held in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, concludes the EU Council’s 20 November press release. / read more

The UK Government announced measures on 1 December designed to assist challenger banks in competing with incumbents; these include a gradual withdrawal of the Funding for Lending Scheme, originally set to end in January 2016, over the next two years, and the creation of a ‘New Bank Start-up Unit’ by the PRA and FCA to help start-ups in receiving authorisation. / read more

The European Banking Authority (‘EBA’) released on 8 December a discussion paper, ‘Future Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on strong customer authentication and secure communication under the revised Payment Services Directive (‘PSD2’),’ seeking input on the Regulatory Technical Standards (‘RTS’) it is required under the PSD2 to develop by January 2017, in cooperation with the European Central Bank (‘ECB’). / read more


The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) published its consultation ‘Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third-party IT services’ on 12 November. This will be of interest to both firms regulated by the FCA and those that provide technology services and solutions to the financial services sector, as all parties will want to assess the degree to which the FCA’s guidance could affect them. John Salmon and Luke Scanlon of Pinsent Masons analyse the consultation and describe a few of the uncertainties therein, which will hopefully receive some clarity as a result of the consultation. / read more

In the Hedqvist case, the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) ruled on an aspect of the VAT treatment of Bitcoin, relating to whether a website exchanging bitcoin for fiat currency is to be treated as a VAT-relevant service and if so whether the service could qualify for a VAT exemption. Koert Bruins, Roger van de Berg and Esteban van Goor of Baker & McKenzie Amsterdam discuss the potential impact of the ECJ’s decision. / read more

The UK’s Payment Card Interchange Fee Regulations 2015 (‘PCIFRs’), which implement the EU Interchange Fee Regulations (‘MIF Regulation’) in the UK, came into force on 9 December. As part of that regulatory change, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (‘PSR’) has been undertaking research into the value of the UK’s domestic card-based payment market. In this article, Clare Burman and Poppy Pite of Osborne Clarke LLP’s Payments team, look at the PSR’s information request and how that information is being applied going forward. / read more

The forthcoming unitary patent and Unified Patent Court will be the biggest change to the patent system in Europe since the European Patent Office opened for business in 1977. In this article, Philip Cupitt, Partner at Finnegan Europe LLP, shares his thoughts on how the new system will affect the financial technology (‘FinTech’) industry, and considers what the industry should do to prepare for the changes it will bring. / read more

RegTech is a financial services buzzword that essentially refers to the adoption of innovative technological solutions that are designed to enable more efficient and effective compliance with regulation. For example, RegTech solutions include activity monitoring and transaction reporting tools. Given that RegTech has the potential to be a growth area for the UK’s economy, the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) is among those now looking at it; the regulator published on 23 November a Call for Input asking how it can support RegTech’s adoption and development. Tim Wright, Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, discusses RegTech, the FCA’s Call for Input and the key questions asked. / read more

In November, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (‘FSA’) issued a ‘Recommendation on the security of online payment transactions made by banks, national payment institutions, national electronic money institutions and savings and credit union’ (‘Recommendation’). This aims to harmonise the minimum requirements for the security of online payments in connection with the provisions of payment services. Maciej Gawronski and Joanna Galajda of Bird & Bird, assess the objectives of the Recommendation and the potential for conflicts to arise between payment service providers and consumers. / 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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