Weekly Headlines 29 January 2021

29th January 2021

BIS survey on CBDCs and related speech

FCA proposing SCA-RTS changes

FCA possible move on Contactless limit

LINK publishes cash data

Moneygram expands Visa debit card service

Transferwise pilots Visa Cloud Connect

Mastercard announces Enhanced Contactless

NCR acquires Cardtronics

JP Morgan to launch UK digital bank


BIS has published the results of its third survey on central bank digital currency. Survey paper

The latest survey responses show that as a whole, central banks are progressing from conceptual research to practical experimentation. In addition, the paper highlights that while most have no plans to issue CBDCs in the foreseeable future, central banks collectively representing a fifth of the world’s population are likely to launch retail CBDCs in the next three years.

See also Speech re on Digital currencies and the future of the monetary system.


The FCA is consulting on Changes to the SCA-RTS and to the guidance in ‘Payment Services and Electronic Money. Consultation Paper

The FCA has identified barriers to the future success and adoption of open banking as it grows in the UK.   With TPPs reporting a significant loss of customers at the point where reauthentication by SCA is required the FCA is proposing changes to the SCA-RTS that include the creation of a new SCA exemption so that customers do not need to reauthenticate.  The FCA is also proposing to increase the single and cumulative transaction thresholds for contactless payments , increasing the first from £45 to £100 (or potentially a maximum of £120) and the latter from £130 to £200.


The FCA is flagging a possible increase of Contactless limit to £100.

In its latest update on mortgages, consumer credit, banking and payments during coronavirus it has included a paragraph on ‘Keeping pace with contactless payments’ in which it says: ‘… Recognising changing behaviour in how people pay, as part of a wider consultation, we will shortly be seeking views on amending our rules to allow for a possible increase in the contactless limit to £100’.


LINK has published data for cash use in 2020. Together with its Monthly Report for January

The data shows that, despite a sharp decline of 37% in ATM transactions in 2020, on average, UK adults still withdrew more than £1,500 each.  The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on ATM use and in total £81 billion was withdrawn from ATMs in 2020 compared to £116 billion in 2019, a fall of 30%.


MoneyGram International has announced the expansion of its Visa debit card deposit service across Europe.

The expansion has launched in collaboration with Checkout.com utilizing Visa Direct. MoneyGram customers can now use the Company’s website or leading mobile app to send money in near real-time to Visa debit card holders across 575 corridors from 25 countries in Europe.


Visa and TransferWise have announced a global partnership and the first use of Visa Cloud Connect.

The new global agreement will enable the expansion of TransferWise’s multi-currency debit cards in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Uk and US.  Visa Cloud Connect is a new way for fintechs and partners to connect to VisaNet through the cloud. It is currently in pilot phase with TransferWise and is scheduled for global availability for other clients in August 2021.


Mastercard has announced that it is developing the next generation of contactless payments. Infographic

The new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) specifications will help ensure that as new technologies like quantum computing are introduced, contactless technology is future proofed to ensure consumers continue to see high levels of security and convenience as today. Mastercard says “As the new specifications are activated over the coming years, consumers and merchants can expect a seamless transition”.


NCR Corporation is to acquire Cardtronics at an enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion, including debt/$1.7bn without.

“This transaction accelerates the NCR-as-a-Service strategy …and further shifts NCR’s revenue mix to software, services and recurring revenue….”.The transaction is expected to close in mid-year 2021.


JP Morgan is to launch digital bank in UK.

JPMorgan Chase has announced it will offer UK consumers a completely new banking choice when it launches a digital retail bank in the coming months. Using the Chase brand, the bank will provide products and features tailored to meet the needs of customers in the UK, delivered via an innovative mobile app. The bank has already recruited 400 people for its canary Wharf HQ and Edinburgh contact centre. The customer contact centre will be central to the proposition, providing fast to access, 24/7 personalised service.



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