News Round-ups

News Headlines


Visa has announced that participants in the Visa Token Service (VTS) are estimated to process a combined ecommerce volume of $1trn.

The announcement also advises that from 21 January active Visa Checkout merchants in the US will transition to a new secure online shopping experience for card payments across web and mobile sites, mobile apps and connected devices, replacing Visa Checkout.  The new functionality will be expanded globally throughout 2020 to cover additional markets.


UK FinanceCard Spending Update

The figures indicate 33% of UK credit card transactions and 48% of debit card transactions were made using contactless cards in October 2019. The total value of contactless transactions was £7.1bn, up 11.4% yoy.


The UK Federation of Small Businesses has released a survey on take up of open banking.

The FSB says the survey indicates that SMBs continue to distrust lenders, with only 15% currently sharing their business bank account data electronically with third parties.  c65% would not consider sharing their banking data with other financial services providers electronically with 43% of these believing that sharing banking data in this way is unsafe and 37% ‘unsure about the benefits’ of such activity.


Visa has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Plaid for $5.3bnPlaid blog.

Plaid’s APIs products enable consumers to share their financial information with apps and services by providing connectivity between financial institutions and developers. Visa says its acquisition represents both an entry into new businesses and complementary enhancements to its existing business. A market report indicates a deal price of €147m/$163m


In another deal Very Good Security has announced that it has received a strategic investment from Visa Inc. to expand access to VGS’ infrastructure-as-a-service.

VGS provides data security and custodianship services that enables customers to derive value from data without needing to hold the data itself by storing their data on VGS’ platform. With Visa, VGS grows these abilities to include network tokenization, push payments with Visa Direct, and fast-tracked card issuance.


Google is to acquire Ireland based PointyPointy blog post.

Pointy enables local retailers to bring their product inventory online by connecting a small box into their barcode scanner or installing the Pointy app on their point of sale system.  The box’s functionality then places the product range directly into the “See what’s in store” section of their business profile on Google Search.


The UK Gambling Commission has announced a ban on gambling on credit cards from April 2020.

The ban, which will apply to all online and offline gambling products except for non-remote lotteries, follows a review of online gambling and the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.  UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble with research showing 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers.


The EBA has published a Report on recent trends in Big Data and Advance Analytics (BD&AA) in the banking sectorReport.

The report also examines key considerations in the development, implementation and adoption of BD&AA and suggests key safeguards in an effort to support ongoing technological neutrality across regulatory and supervisory approaches.  The EBA has identified four key pillars necessary to support the rollout of Advanced Analytics, along with a set of ‘elements of trust’.


Global Blue has entered a $2.6bn merger deal with Far Point Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.

The deal will see Global Blue list on the New York Stock Exchange at the close of the transaction and includes a $125m investment from Ant Financial. Ant Financial will accelerate its strategic collaboration with the company.


News Headlines 20 December 2019


EC updated cross-border payments rules are now live.

Additional provisions that will allow EU consumers to compare currency conversion charges when paying with their cards in another EU currency will go live in April 2020.


The three ESAs have published Joint guidelines on cooperation and information exchange on AML/CFT.

Colleges of supervisors have been established to ensure effective cooperation and information exchange between competent authorities in an effort to strengthen the EU’s AML/CFT efforts


The Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation has published a report with 30 recommendations for fintech regulation.

The report concentrates on the FinTech Technological Space that includes AI, Blockchain/DLT, Smart contracts, Internet of Things and Quantum Computing. It goes on to look at the Innovative use of technology in finance together with Maintaining a Level Playing Field, Access to data and Financial inclusion.


EBA CLEARING has announced the delivery of specifications for its R2P infrastructure solution.

The development of the solution is on track for a go-live in November 2020 and will fully align with the request to pay scheme that is currently being delivered by the EPC. The specifications will be made available to the wider community of future users of the solution and to the technical service providers and solution providers supporting them.


SWIFT has opened its global KYC registry to SWIFT connected corporate groups.

SWIFT’s KYC Registry provides access to a secure platform for banks, and now corporates, to share KYC data with banking partners.


The Riksbank is running an e-Krona pilot project alongside Accenture.

Accenture will help to build a technical platform with a user interface that will enables payment with the e-krona from a mobile phone, card and watch together with simulations of payment service providers, retail outlets and other parts of the Swedish payment system.  The Riksbank has not yet taken a decision to issue an e-krona.


The CMA has issued its interim report on its market study into online platforms and digital advertising.

The report concludes that there is a strong argument for the development of a new regulatory regime, which could include rules governing the behaviour of online platforms and giving people greater control over their own data. The FT is reporting that the government will create a technology watchdog next year in order to police large tech firms.


The FCA has launched a Call for Input  on the opportunities presented by so-called ‘open finance’.

The CfI seeks to launch a discussion on the opportunities and risks arising from open finance, what is needed to ensure it develops in the best interests of consumers, and what role the FCA should play.


OBIEOpen Banking November HighlightsPDF

There are now 198 regulated providers made up of 130 TPPs and 68 account providers, with 61 regulated entities that have at least one proposition live with customers.


Fujitsu  – Retailers Must Respond to Radical New Demands.

Fujitsu Future Insights – Digital Transformation in Retail” argues that the retail landscape is changing radically, including a growing rejection by Millennials and Generation Z customers of the conventional mass-production/mass-consumption economic model that has prevailed for more than a century. Fujitsu identifies five key factors that it expects to have a major impact on the industry’s future.



News Headlines 13 December 2019


BIS has published a discussion paper on the design of a prudential treatment for crypto-assets. Paper.

The Committee takes the view that the growth of crypto-assets and related services has the potential to raise financial stability concerns and increase risks faced by banks.


The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a report that considers the financial stability implications from an increasing offering of financial services by BigTech firms.  Report.

A range of issues arise for policymakers, including additional financial regulation and/or oversight.  Regulators and supervisors also need to be mindful of the resilience and the viability of the business models of incumbent firms given interlinkages with, and competition from, BigTech firms.


The EPC has published the 2019 Payment Threats and Fraud Trends ReportReport.

The document provides an overview of the most important threats in the payments landscape, including social engineering and phishing, malware, Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), mobile device related attacks, (D)DoS, botnets and threats related to cloud services, big data, IoT and virtual currencies.


Mastercard and Doconomy have extended their joint effort to combat climate change.

The new arrangement brings the ability for any Mastercard issuer to offer their cardholder the ability to track and understand their carbon footprint based on purchases made. The first bank in the U.S. and Nordea in the Nordics have announced they will join The Bank of Åland in enabling clients to track and measure their CO2 impact through the Åland Index.


Mastercard is trialling new digital identity technology, starting in Australia.

The initial in-market pilot will take place with Australia Post and Deakin University with a distributed model that blends information stored on an individual’s mobile device and verified by additional reference points, such as an individual’s bank or participating government agencies. It eliminates the need for a centralised identity database. Additional partnerships and pilots will be introduced across a number of markets throughout 2020.


Andreesen Horowitz BlogThe Video-First Future of Ecommerce

Posits the view that TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are the likely “future of ecommerce” as short video sharing platforms continue to attract sellers. The VC says that manufacturers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs are using the platforms to bypass retailers and sell to shoppers directly as shoppable links begin to appear in videos.


Bud has agreed a deal with HSBC that will give the bank access to Bud’s Open Banking, API and data.

The deal will see a phased rollout of Bud’s technology, initially within HSBC’s challenger first direct brand, then HSBC itself later in 2020. The agreement covers scope for HSBC to use Bud’s technology in other global markets, as well as using Bud’s switching service.


Nets is running a pilot programme enabling 1,000 Danish workers to use facial recognition to make payments.

Workers at Vibenshuset, an office community of 25 companies in Copenhagen – can sign up to participate in the pilot. By linking their face with their employee ID card, they can now pay for their lunch using their face at Kokkenes Køkken’s cafeteria. The solution being trialled is easy for merchants to install, requiring just a tablet with a pre-installed webcam and app.


Visa has announced that TransferWise will begin offering its customers an additional capability to remit money to debit cards in real-time.

The integrated service, initially available in Spain, is also planned to go live in Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. TransferWise plans to continue to collaborate with Visa and scale its offering using Visa Direct in Europe and globally.


Nuvei has completed a US$270m financing round, valuing the company at US$2bn.

The financing will allow Nuvei to bolster both its organic and acquisition growth plans post the acquisition of SafeCharge International.