5 April

5th April 2019
  • Digital & eCommerce
  • Acquiring/Processing
  • Issuing
  • Cross-Border Payments
  • Fintech
  • Digital/Retail Banking
  • Biometrics
  • Open Banking/PSD2
  • Instant Payments
  • Blockchain/DLT/Cryptoassets
  • Corporate Activity
  • Regulation


Mir, the Russian payment system, has launched a contactless payment service MirPay. http://tinyurl.com/yyllvne2

The app will be available for Android smartphone users of Russian Agricultural Bank, Centr-Invest, SMP bank, Rossiya Bank, the Moscow Credit Bank, Promsvyazbank, and the Russian National Commercial Bank. Sberbank and other banks will connect Mir Pay during the summer.  By the end of the year the contactless payment system is planned to be available in any contactless capable POS-terminal. The app supports both NFC and QR.


Klarna has launched a global authentication platform. http://tinyurl.com/y2jbtzq8

The platform acts as an aggregator with multiple global and local authentication solutions, enabling multinational businesses, including merchants and other banks, to provide a simple, secure and personalised customer authentication experience irrespective of market, through a one-time integration.



Elavon is to provide payments acceptance and acquiring services to Société Générale. http://tinyurl.com/y53mnwq2

The move will give the bank’s business customers access to Elavon’s cross-border and omni-commerce payment capabilities in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and in the UK.


EVRY is working with ACI Worldwide to strengthen its card and mobile payments capabilities. http://tinyurl.com/y2bab5fr


Truevo Payments is using Temenos solutions to target the Fintech sector. http://tinyurl.com/y3mbtnj6

The  Malta-based card acquirer and PSP is looking to expand into a new market as it looks to accelerate growth through digital innovation.



UnionPay International and UniCredit have signed a letter of intent to strengthen their existing partnership. http://tinyurl.com/y5kxsome

The agreement will lead to cooperation across a number of fronts, including the issuance of UnionPay branded cards in Italy, geographical expansion into CEE/Balkans and mobile payments innovation.



SWIFT has set up a working group of international standards experts to formulate guidelines for the implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments. http://tinyurl.com/yyfuxy2w

The aim is to ensure harmonised rollout of ISO 20022 globally by creating a common end-to-end implementation that will deliver increased efficiencies, support end-to-end STP, facilitate improved regulatory compliance, enhance the party identification process and enable new business opportunities.



Bank of England – What are the business models of new fintech firms in the UK?  http://tinyurl.com/y4n558x4



The EBA has published its “Consumer Trends Report for 2018 / 2019”. http://tinyurl.com/y2hvrhkf

The Report covers the trends and issues related to retail banking products and services that fall within the EBA’s consumer protection mandate, such as mortgages, consumer credit, deposits, payment accounts, payment services and electronic money. The Report also provides an overview of the topical issues identified in 2018/19 that impact or may impact consumers. This edition is more extensive than previous ones as it provides a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the trends and a qualitative description of each retail banking product or service within the EBA’s consumer protection scope.


TSB, after its systems meltdown last year, is taking IT in-house. http://tinyurl.com/y3vsx928

“In the coming months, we will take direct ownership of our banking platform, including direct contractual relationships with the third party technology suppliers”. i.e. dumping Banco Sabadell’s Sabis tech subsidiary.


NatWest are trialling a new personal finance app called Mimo.  http://tinyurl.com/y5u3sltt  http://tinyurl.com/y5e677uc

Mimo has been designed to help make customers financial life easier and uses Open Banking APIs, AI and data analytics.


Banco Santander is to accelerate it digital transformation and platform strategy with > €20 billion digital and technology investment over four years. http://tinyurl.com/y225ogr5                                                    Open Day http://tinyurl.com/yaax78wx

To accelerate the bank’s growth, the Group plans to expand several of its digital offerings, including a comprehensive global payments initiative that will incorporate a new open-market international payments service called Pago FX.


N26 has deferred offering customers a wide range of other banking products for the time being. http://tinyurl.com/y6yyfphg

The Digital Bank says it will seek to build up its international customer base first. The decision is linked to the fact that it is difficult to make profits from N26’s millennial base on a wider product portfolio. The aim now is to “generate market power through size.”


Temenos has published its 2019 Digital Sales in Banking Reporthttp://tinyurl.com/y4lj9jub

Digital account opening for personal banking globally edges closer to ubiquity with >75% of personal accounts available to be opened online. Mobile is now mainstream, with 50% of accounts of all types available for opening on mobile devices.



Fingopay is planning a launch of its technology across Manchester this summer. http://tinyurl.com/y36echfe

The company is currently in negotiations with leisure and hospitality venues across the city.


Zwipe and card manufacturer TAG Systems are to launch a commercial biometric payment card. http://tinyurl.com/ycx8n8jr

TAG Systems, which supplies a large number of financial institutions and challenger banks with cards, will include Zwipes secure at-home enrolment solution.


equensWorldline has expanded its Trusted Authentication solution by adding fingerprint and faceID security options. http://tinyurl.com/y3gep4xj

The addition of biometric features to the Worldline authentication solution supports compliance with PSD2 SCA and  FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standard.



The EBA has published clarifications to the second set of issues raised by its Working Group on APIs under PSD2. http://tinyurl.com/y6hyl8hb   Clarifications http://tinyurl.com/y4fckpra

The issues relate to API performance and support; the provision of a list of TPPs that are interested in testing; the testing by TPPs that are not authorised; and the timelines applicable across the EEA if ASPSPs want to be exempted from the fall-back mechanism.

An Annexe covers the exemption timelines on a country by country basis.


The CMA has issued Directions to five banks in respect of the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017. http://tinyurl.com/yy25tjru    Revised Implementation Plan  http://tinyurl.com/y4h9uzdm

These Directions relate to delays in delivering certain aspects of the Open Banking programme, in particular with regard to mobile app functionality. The Directions specify actions that the banks concerned must take including, for those not delivering this functionality until several months after the deadline, the employment of external professional resources to validate their plans and monitor their progress. Specimen (HSBC) http://tinyurl.com/y6yhbydw Other banks: Danske, BoI, Lloyds Group, Santander.


PRETA has launched the on boarding process for the Open Banking Europe (OBE) directory. http://tinyurl.com/yyrcfoao  Directory FAQs http://tinyurl.com/y23oggpr

The Directory is a pan-European, centralised and machine-readable repository for active regulated entities that can perform access-to-account (XS2A) services across Europe. The directory is open to ASPSPs and TPPs. The directory covers all the national registers that are currently available for verification requests, with the remainder to be added as soon as the respective national transpositions have been completed. It appears to be available only to OBE participants.



PRETA has announced that the total of payment transactions via MyBank has reached €10bn 6 years after launch. http://tinyurl.com/yxeq7j4b

The total value of transactions has doubled in less than a year with average daily transactions now standing at c€14.5m.


Deutsche Bank and Serrala have launched an API interface for SEPA instant payments. http://tinyurl.com/y62m84x7

Claimed to be a market first the joint initiative will help facilitate real-time treasury and allow payments to be processed 24/7/365 within less than ten seconds. The new interface supports the end-to-end automation of payment processes through integration in the customer’s SAP ERP system..



The International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) has been launched. http://tinyurl.com/yxsulpmj

The new association’s aim is to encourage the global governance and development of blockchain technology. Supported by the EU, the initial membership has 105 organisations signed up including some big names  like ACCENTURE, Barclays, BBVA, IBM, SAP and SWIFT.


Crypto exchange Coinbase has launched a cross-border payments service. http://tinyurl.com/y33uf4us

The service enable customers to transfer funds using Ripple (XRP) and the stablecoin USDCoin (USDC). Coinbase points out that this is not a money remittance service but a cryptocurrency transaction with conversion into local currency after receipt.


PayPal has joined a Series A funding round for US fintech Cambridge Blockchain. http://tinyurl.com/y28odbrs

Cambridge Blockchain makes digital identity enterprise software for financial institutions while giving customers control over their identity data. The two companies will explore potential collaborations to leverage blockchain technology.



Thales has announced it has been successful with its offer for Gemalto. http://tinyurl.com/y4mzhs3l

85.58% of Gemalto shares have been tendered to the Offer and all Offer Conditions are now satisfied or waived, making the Offer unconditional.


REGULATION (Competition)

The CMA has opened a preliminary investigation into Visa’s offer for Earthport.   http://tinyurl.com/yxpso7ys

The deadline for the CMA to announce its decision whether to refer the Merger for a Phase 2 investigation is 4 June 2019. There is an Invitation to comment that closes on 18 April 2019.


The EC has published a report “Competition policy for the digital era”. http://tinyurl.com/yxsaoecp

The report prepared by three Special Advisers:

  1. identifies the main specific features of digital markets;
  2.  provides views on the goals of EU competition law in the digital era;
  3. discusses the application of competition rules to digital platforms and data, as well as the role of merger control in preserving competition and innovation.


REGULATION (Payment Systems)

ESMA has published the latest list of Designated Payment and Securities Settlement Systems. http://tinyurl.com/yc6e8wfk



The FCA has published its final instruments and guidance that will apply in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal or an implementation period.  http://tinyurl.com/y2fp9gqk

The final instruments are largely unchanged from the near-final versions, which were published in February.


The OBIE has issued Guidance to EEA Open Banking Participants regarding the Temporary Permissions Regime.  http://tinyurl.com/y3wotx3m

In order to remain part of Open Banking EEA participants will need to ensure that they have made a TPR notification to the FCA by 11 April 2019.


PPRO has been granted an e-money licence by the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance. http://tinyurl.com/yxmodnyu

The licence has been granted to PPRO’s local entity PPRO SA, which will allow the PSP to move its headquarters to Luxembourg.


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