4 November 2017

3rd November 2017
  • Mobile/Contactless and omni-Commerce
  • ATMs
  • Cheques
  • Retail/Digital banking
  • SMEs
  • Fraud/Security
  • Corporate Activity
  • DLT/Blockchain/Cryptocurrencies
  • Regulation

MOBILE/CONTACTLESS and omni-COMMERCE

Visa Inc has announced the launch of Visa Direct in Europe. http://tinyurl.com/y6wq6gnq

Visa has partnered with Worldpay to accelerate the availability of Visa Direct to merchants in Europe and subsequently across all of its markets globally. Visa Direct API is available on the Visa Developer Platform.

 

Visa EU research indicates smartphones have replaced bank branches for UK millennials. http://tinyurl.com/#

69% of British people between the ages of 18-34 say they have used a mobile banking app, with more than half (53%) noting that they do so regularly. In comparison, 38% of total respondents across the UK regularly conduct their banking via an app.

 

Asos is now offering Klarna Pay Later to support its new “Try Before You Buy” service. http://tinyurl.com/y8lkjtpd

Once an order has been confirmed, customers will receive an email from Klarna with payment instructions. They will then have 30 days to complete the payment online, at no extra cost.

 

ALDI is introducing its own label gift cards in Germany supported by Wirecard. http://tinyurl.com/yc6jgenl

This is the first e-money product offered by the discounter. Up until now the discounter has only sold other Brand’s cards.

 

Poland is leading the contactless race in Europe. http://tinyurl.com/y7xv8sxt

Article says data from the National Bank of Poland suggests that contactless payments constituted as much as 66.7% of all cashless card payments in Q2/17.

 

Square is launching its Square Register in the US. http://tinyurl.com/yc6jgenl

Square Register is a fully integrated proprietary ‘One box’ POS system aimed at larger volume merchants. The package can be bought outright for $999 or on contract for $49pm.   https://squareup.com/hardware/register

 

Lots of comment about plans by Wespac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank for a mobile wallet JV branded Beem. e.g. http://tinyurl.com/yd6ex67p

This is the latest move by the Australian banks in their fight over access to Apple Pay.

 

ATMs

LINK has issued a proposal and consultation on the future level of its interchange fee. http://tinyurl.com/yayy3h7w

The key proposal is a 20% reduction in interchange rates over the next four years, from around 25p to 20p per cash withdrawal.

To meet concerns regarding access to free to use ATM LINK says it will be boosting its Financial Inclusion Programme to maintain extensive free access to cash for all in the UK. Currently there are 70,000 ATMs across the country, around 80% of which are free-to-use.

 

ATMIA Statement in response says the move is unwarranted and will lead to ‘a vast reduction in free access to cash’.  http://tinyurl.com/yd4ysnek

ATMIA says ‘The regulators and the Government need to step in immediately to stop a potentially catastrophic situation developing’.

 

CHEQUES

C&CCC are starting the roll-out of its new image-based  cheque clearing system.  http://tinyurl.com/y7lpl3p9  Info, FAQs, etc.  http://tinyurl.com/lz44unb

Usage levels will be small initially with a build up until Summer 2018 when all UK banks and building societies will clear all cheques via the new system. Until the yet to be announced date both the existing and new systems will operate in parallel. It is up to individual banks what options they offer customers.

 

RETAIL/DIGITAL BANKING

Orange Bank finally goes live in France. http://tinyurl.com/ybnzctqg

Orange Bank’s ambition is to reach more than 2 million customers in France within 10 years and illustrates Orange’s wish to diversify its services, particularly in mobile financial services, which it sees as offering significant growth prospects.

 

SMEs

Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2017 says 1.6m small businesses (41%) and over 100,000 (52%) charities do not have Basic Digital Skills. http://tinyurl.com/yarlld65

The most digitally capable small businesses are twice as likely to report an increase in turnover compared to non-digital equivalents and are also more productive. The leading barrier for those with lowest levels of digital skills is seeing the internet as of interest – 61% of charities and 43% of small businesses in this bracket believe an online presence is ‘irrelevant’.

 

FRAUD/SECURITY

Lloyds is following Barclays with a system that prompts customers to answer additional security questions before setting up new online payments. http://tinyurl.com/y7hv9htp

 

American Express has announced the introduction of SafeKey 2.0, the next generation of its online authentication tool. http://tinyurl.com/yby9fc7g

The updated platform supports authentication methods using biometrics, including fingerprints and facial recognition. The service will be available for deployment in spring 2018.

 

CORPORATE ACTIVITY

Transferwise is raising $280m via a Series E funding round. Bloomberg http://tinyurl.com/yck62my8  Techcrunch http://tinyurl.com/ybfcymaw

The move is said to value the company at $1.6bn.

 

DLT/BLOCKCHAIN/CRYPTO CURRENCIES

The ECB has published a Legal Working Paper – Impact of digital innovation on the processing of electronic payments and contracting: an overview of legal risks. http://tinyurl.com/ycr9r57o

This is essentially about the implications of financial innovation driven by Cryptocurrencies, DLT and Smart contracts and comes with the proviso that it is addressed to experts, so readers should be knowledgeable in the legal field.

 

R3 and 22 of the world’s biggest banks have developed an international payments system.   http://tinyurl.com/yacx9ph6

The system if implemented would allow existing central bank currencies and any new digital ones to be transacted via the blockchain.

 

REGULATION

Walter Merricks is appealing against the CAT decision not to allow his class action to go forward.  http://tinyurl.com/#

An appeal had been filed at the Court of Appeal as well as an application for judicial review at the administrative division of the High Court.

 

Meanwhile CAT has published an order regarding hearings in four existing MasterCard damages actions.

MasterCard has lodged applications disputing the CAT’s jurisdiction in respect of each claim, in particular arguing that they are time barred. The applications in all the cases will be heard together on the first available date after 19 March 2018.

 

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