15 November 2019

15th November 2019
  • Digital & eCommerce
  • Commercial & Small Business
  • Digital & Retail Banking
  • Fraud & Cybersecurity
  • Cash(less)
  • Open Banking & PSD2
  • Corporate Activity
  • Regulation


ONS Retail sales, Great Britain: October 2019

Internet sales increased by 8.8% yoy. As a proportion of all retailing sales they increased to 19.2% in October 2019, from the 19.0% reported in September 2019.


Visa UK Consumer Spending Index October 2019 sees marginal drop in household spend.

Face-to-Face expenditure falls again (-2.4%), but eCommerce sees rise (+1.1%).


TIM has signed an agreement with Santander Consumer Bank to offer consumer finance services through a JV.

Initially the JV will offer loans to purchase electronic devices with plans to expand to include other consumer finance and insurance products. Santander Consumer Bank will be the 51% majority stakeholder with the Italian telco holding the remainder.


Facebook has announced the introduction of Facebook Pay.

Facebook says the wallet will provide a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. However, the new feature will only start rolling out in the US and then only for Facebook and Messenger for certain categories. Other payments on Messenger and select purchases on Facebook Marketplace. Instagram and WhatsApp will be added ‘over time’. It is at pains to state that Pay is separate from the Calibra wallet.


Facebook is also introducing catalogs in the WhatsApp Business app.

Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods so people can easily browse and discover something they would like to buy. The purchase process, however, still takes place outside the app. Currently available in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK and the US, a global roll-out will follow.



Xero has announced major enhancements to payments on its platform working with TransferWise, Stripe and GoCardless.

The enhancements based on integrations with TransferWise, Stripe and GoCardless will make it easier for small businesses to set up card and debit payments for customer invoices, pay multiple bills quickly, and reconcile transactions against their accounting ledger. Users will also be able to offer instalment payments for invoices and collect international recurring payments.


NatWest meanwhile has joined the increasing number of providers integrating with Xero.

The integration will allow users to have direct access to NatWest’s Rapid Cash service, which provides businesses with a flexible line of credit to cover unpaid invoices for up to £500,000, via Single Sign On (SSO) technology. Rapid Cash will be the first working capital product to have this level of integration with Xero in the UK.



Reuters reports on the efforts of HSBC and RBS to launch new digital banking platforms.

The SME focussed HSBC ‘Kinetic’ has just been launched in beta and RBS’s ‘Bó’ is scheduled for a public roll-out later this month.


Starling Bank has announced it has reached 1m accounts.


Google is planning to offer checking accounts next year in conjunction with Citigroup and a Credit Union.

Through its ‘Cache’ project, Google is exploring how it can partner with US banks and credit unions to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay.



Pay.UK has published its Conclusions and Recommendations following the CoI on APP fraudFull PR.

Pay.UK has concluded that there is no industry consensus to finance a central fund to reimburse innocent (no-blame) victims of APP fraud despite there being an “overwhelming agreement among payment providers that customers should be”. Pay.UK is now calling on industry and regulators to work together to find a solution that gives customers peace of mind and meets the needs of different types of payment providers.

Overview document. The document explains the key reasons why Pay.UK is unable to progress the proposal and the next steps that it thinks should be considered on this issue.

Which? Response – “incredibly disappointing”.


Verizon has published the 2019 edition of its Payment Security Report.    Report web page.

The headline finding is that payment security compliance is declining with just over 1 in 3 companies globally making the grade. Companies that maintain full compliance with PCI DSS have fallen for the second year in a row to 36.7% worldwide.


CASH(less) – Access to Cash

Which?Cash strapped: Hundreds of communities struggling to access cash.

Which? is calling on the Payment Systems Regulator to take control of ATM interchange fees.



ÖDED, The Turkish Payment and Electronic Money Association, has welcomed the government’s introduction of PSD2.

Amendments to the Law No. 6493 which defines the purpose, roles and responsibilities of payment services will pave the way for fintechs in Turkey to take advantage of Open Banking.


Pay.UK presentation on the future of Payments.

The presentation covers how Pay.UK is looking to understand changing consumer behaviour to inform its role as a market catalyst and how this will influence the future of payments.



EML Payments is to acquire Irish Prepaid Financial ServicesIrish Times

In a deal worth £226m plus an earn out component of £55m, the Australian PSP will bolster its position in the prepaid global market where it already operates in the US. EML already has a presence in the RoI having acquired Perfectcard DAC in July 2018.


Cardlay has received €9m in Series B funding and signed a deal with Eurocard.

The new partnership will involve the integration of Cardlay’s automated expense management and VAT reclaim software, enabling Eurocard to offer customers new, innovative services.



The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee has suggested how payments innovation should be assessed.

The latest Minutes of the FPC say that it welcomes the exploration of alternative ways to improve cross-border and domestic payments but ensuring new solutions support financial stability is a key concern. The FPC has agreed three principles for assessing how regulation should respond to developments in the payments sector and suggests they should be used to inform the Treasury’s current review of the payments landscape.



Angela Merkel has urged the EU to seize control of data from US tech titans.

The German chancellor has urged Europe to seize control of its data from Silicon Valley tech giants and challenge the US dominance of the digital economy. The speech references the GAIA-X project which appears to be the answer.


BIS SpeechData, technology and policy coordination.

Augustin Carstens discusses the role of personal data in digital financial innovation, saying that while the use of new technology with such data holds great promise, it also presents new and complex policy trade-offs, and a clear need for domestic and international policy coordination. He goes on to suggest how the work of the BIS can contribute to this debate.



The Finance Ministries of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Latvia have published a Joint Position Paper.

The paper lays out the view that the EU needs its own anti-money laundering authority and that, for a uniform interpretation in the member states, central aspects of the EMLD should be transferred into a directly applicable regulation. This would result in a harmonized European regulatory framework and supervisory mechanism for ML/FT.


Apple says moves in Germany to force it to open up its Apple Pay mobile payments system to rivals are negative.

The move results from an amendment to an anti-money laundering law adopted by the full German parliament and is set to come into effect early next year. The law highlights the growing desire in Germany for tighter regulation of US fintechs, viz Angela Merkel’s recent speech (See above Big Data).

Industry Videos

Dutch cashierless store trial

ING is working with supermarket chain Albert Heijn and US AiFi on a cashierless store trial.

Users gain access by scanning their debit card, with cameras and ‘smart shelves’ tracking purchases and automatic payment on exit. Similar to Amazon Go but does not require an app.

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