Weekly Headlines 31 July 2020

31st July 2020

EBA reminds FIs on Brexit preparations

FCA flags requirements under Electronic Commerce Directive

PSR consults on future strategy

LINK on interchange and cash use

Visa lays out support for crypto

Mastercard launches business intelligence platform

Amazon Fraud Detector announced

TransferWise reaches $5 billion valuation

Monzo Bank flags Covid-19 danger to business

 

 

The EBA has called on FIs to finalise preparations for the end of the transitional arrangements between the EU and UK.

Financial institutions wishing to operate in the EU and offer services to their EU customers should ensure they have obtained the necessary authorisations and effectively establish themselves before the end of the transition period. It particularly reminds UK-authorised PSPs and EMIs they require to be authorised beforehand and UK FIs that they should not outsource activities to such an extent that they operate as ‘empty shell’ companies.

 

The FCA has published a new webpage on changes relating to the Electronic Commerce Directive (ECD) at the end of Brexit transition .

The ECD provides an exclusion from host state regulation for e-commerce activities provided from one EEA state to a person in another EEA state. The ability for UK firms to continue to service EEA customers in this way will end at the end of the transition period and the FCA advises firms to contact local regulators in other EEA states to check if other methods are available.

 

The PSR is consulting on its long-term future strategy.

This is a preliminary information seeking initiative before the PSR formally consults, around the end of this year, to define clear outcomes for the payments sector – to set out priorities for the regulator, and what stakeholders can expect from the regulator in the future. It links to a new Strategy document – A new strategy for a changing world –  together with a paper on Innovation and future payment methods. These will be followed by a Competition, activity on payment methods and various events, all designed to gather views and input into the eventual strategy. A series of nine ‘Thought pieces’ has also been posted.

 

LINK has announced its latest decision on future Interchange rates.

Following a review of the ATM network and the likely future use of cash, the LINK Board has decided to cancel the fourth Interchange reduction due in January 2021.

LINK has also indicated that ATM cash use is rising again as retail and hospitality reopen.

£1.5bn is now being withdrawn a week in 20 million cash withdrawals compared to £1bn and 12 million withdrawals a week in early April. However, withdrawals are still down 30% against ‘normal’. Research indicates 50+% have used cash in the past two weeks.

 

Visa has announced support of cryptocurrencies in the financial services industry.

Visa’s outlook on new digital currency payment flows has been made positive as it acknowledges digital currencies offer an exciting avenue for it to continue expanding its network to support new forms of commerce. Globally, more than 25 digital currency wallets have linked their services to Visa as its product and research teams continue to evolve its offering in the crypto environment.

 

Mastercard has launched Market Trends a business intelligence platform for European Banks.

The interactive platform provides a comprehensive view of payments insights, competitive intelligence and industry trends including market assessment reports, card comparison, analysis of leading global Fintechs, consumer research and industry insights.

 

Amazon Web Services has announced the general availability of Amazon Fraud Detector.

AFD is a fully managed service that, using machine learning, automatically identifies potentially fraudulent activity in milliseconds. Using the AFD console, customers can select a pre-built machine learning model template, upload historical event data, and create decision logic to assign outcomes to the predictions. It is not a subscription service – customers pay only for their actual usage.

 

TransferWise has run a $319 million secondary share sale  in the US, driving its valuation to $5 billion.

The round allowed shareholders and employees to sell some of their holdings to other new and existing investors with the new valuation reflecting a near 45% growth in 14 months.

 

Monzo Bank has published its Annual Report 2020.

As reported extensively, Monzo has flagged that it has been hit hard by Covid-19 and losses have reached £113.8 million. The report lays out precisely what challenges it faces and that there is significant doubt in its ability to continue as a going concern. However, it also lays out a series of mitigating factors and activity aimed at ensuring the bank’s survival.

 

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