Weekly Headlines 5 March 2021

5th March 2021

EBA Opinion on risks of AML/TF

ESMA overview on Wirecard; Writes to EC

FCA increases  contactless limit

CMA Consultation on Open Banking governance

UK Finance proposals on Open Banking’s future

Visa’s ‘Where You Shop Matters’ initiative

Mastercard completes Nets Group deal

Klarna raises $1 billion; launches UK Influencer Council

Amazon introduces “just walk out” technology in UK

Revolut expands European banking footprint

 

The EBA has highlighted key money laundering and terrorist financing risks across the EUOpinion

The EBA’s biennial Opinion on risks of ML/TF include the use of innovative financial services and crypto currencies identified previously. New risks identified include the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing trend of de-risking. The EBA has developed an interactive tool, which gives European citizens, competent authorities and credit and financial institutions access to all ML/TF risks covered in the Opinion.

 

The ESMA Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group has published an ‘Own initiative’ overview report on the Wirecard case.

The unprecedented case of Wirecard triggered the SMSG to present an own initiative report with recommendations to ESMA and other European institutions. The recommendations are wide ranging and cover areas such as short selling, auditing and governance and include the suggestion that ESMA looks at whether there is ground to trigger an investigation into the German competent authority (presumably BaFin).

Following this

ESMA has proposed improvements to the Transparency Directive.

ESMA has written a letter to the EC with its proposals to improve the Transparency Directive following the Wirecard case. The letter addresses provisions related to enforcement of financial information.

 

The FCA has confirmed changes to the contactless payment threshold from £45 to £100.

The contactless threshold for multiple transactions will also increase from £130 to £300. A Policy Statement summarises the responses received by the FCA resulting from its earlier Consultation on its proposed changes. The PS also confirms that Article 11 of the SCA-RTS will be amended so that SCA is not required for single contactless transactions up to £100.

But not everybody is happy about the new limit including Which? after FT piece that indicated HMT may be wavering on its commitment to enact legislation.

 

The CMA has launched a consultation on the future governance of Open Banking. Consultation web page  Document

As the Implementation phase of open banking nears completion, the CMA is now consulting on what arrangements should be put in place for its governance in the next phase of its development. As part of its consultation the CMA will consider the proposals put forward by UK Finance (See next).

 

UK Finance has published detailed proposals for a new service company to support the UK’s open banking infrastructure.

Open banking futures: blueprint and transition plan.

The new service company, which will transition from the OBIE, will provide a set of service capabilities which meet the needs of the OB ecosystem and help ensure its stability and resilience. These include managing the centralised OB directory, maintaining technical standards and enabling future improvements.  It will also provide a platform for UK financial institutions to meet their regulatory obligations under the CMA Order and PSD2.

 

Visa has announced more than 100 partners across Europe have joined the ‘Where You Shop Matters’ initiative.

More than two million small firms across Europe have received support since the launch of the program in summer 2020. The announcement marks a major milestone in Visa’s commitment to help eight million SMBs in Europe to get online, adapt and future proof their business.

 

Nets Group has announced the completion of the sale of its account-to-account based services to MasterCard.

The sale for €2.85 billion follows the successful conclusion of the remedy taker approval process stipulated by the European Commission. The operations sold to Mastercard represented the majority of Nets’ Corporate Services division, comprising the clearing and instant payment services and e-billing solutions, including Betalingsservice in Denmark and AvtaleGiro/eFaktura in Norway.

 

Klarna has raised $1 billion in a new funding round.

The latest fund-raising gives Klarna a $31 billion valuation, making Klarna the highest-valued private fintech in Europe and the second highest worldwide.

Meanwhile in the UK its has launched an Influencer Council.

The aim of the Council is to develop a best practice guide for influencers and brands advertising online and to help shape responsible marketing practices for the financial services sector, as more people look online for financial guidance. A pre-emptive strike before BNPL regulation is fixed.

 

Amazon has opened its first Fresh store in the UK

The new store in Ealing, London incorporates the Amazon Go “just walk out” technology and is Amazon’s first physical grocery outlet outside of the US.

 

Revolut is launching as a bank in ten EU countries.

Using its Lithuanian banking licence, Revolut is now offering protected deposit accounts in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.  To utilise the protected accounts, Revolut’s eligible customers just need to upgrade to Revolut Bank to gain access to a wider range of services the fintech now offers.

 

PSE Innovation Videos

Computop – Biometric Authentication

In this full length video, Ralf Gladis from Computop  discusses the challenges faced by merchants when looking at authentication, and the advantages of good authentication procedures far beyond payments.

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