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March 12, 2024

On the web

December 11, 2023

On the web

October 18, 2023

On the wires

August 1, 2023

On the web

How EU Instant Payments Legislation Will Impact Finance, Operations, Treasury, and Technology Teams

Electronic Payments International

"In October 2022, the European Commission proposed new legislation to make instant payment services available to everyone with a bank account within the EU. Proposals will likely be approved before the end of 2023. So, banks and payments service providers (PSPs) should plan to offer instant payment services to their EU customers by Q4 2024."

July 18, 2023

On the wires

July 14, 2023

On the wires

EU Watchdog Calls for Early Adoption of Stablecoin Standards


"The European Union's banking watchdog urged stablecoin issuers on Wednesday to voluntarily comply with 'guiding principles' on managing risks and protecting consumers ahead of mandatory rules due in a year's time. The EU approved its Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCAR) in April, the world's first comprehensive set of rules for trading cryptoassets like bitcoin and ether, and issuing stablecoins, a cryptoasset backed by a currency or asset."

June 28, 2023

On the web

June 27, 2023

On the wires

June 6, 2023

On the wires

May 17, 2023

On the web

EU Member States Accept World's First Sweeping Crypto Rules

Central Banking

"European Union member states gave the final stamp of approval to a regulation on Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), the world's first comprehensive set of cryptocurrency regulations. Tuesday's approval by the finance ministers of each EU member was the final stage in MiCA's approval process. The regulatory framework was first proposed in September 2020 and was approved by the European Parliament in April. The regulations will go into effect in phases starting in 2024."

May 12, 2023

On the wires

EU Antitrust Regulators Seeking More Info on Apple Pay


"EU antitrust regulators are seeking more information on Apple's mobile payment system, the European Commission said on Wednesday, a sign that the enforcer is looking to close any loopholes and boost its case against the iPhone maker. The EU competition watchdog last year accused Apple of restricting rivals' access to its tap-and-go technology, Near-Field Communication (NFC), used for mobile wallets, making it difficult for them to develop rival services on Apple devices."

May 11, 2023

On the web

EU Committee Passes AI Bill on for Plenary Vote; Tightens Rules for Biometric Use

Biometric Update

"The European Parliament appears ready to regulate biometric surveillance like a necessary evil in the bloc’s proposed AI Act. Tight and multitudinous draft rules for artificial intelligence have won resounding final committee approval and are ready for a plenary vote in about a month. After that, national governments will have the final say. According to reports, conservatives in the Parliament held out to the end with language that would make AI generally and biometrics specifically accessible to businesses and governments."

April 21, 2023

On the web

Crypto-Assets: Green Light to New Rules for Tracing Transfers in the EU


"Parliament endorsed the first EU rules to trace crypto-asset transfers, prevent money laundering, as well as common rules on supervision and customer protection. On Thursday, MEPs approved with 529 votes in favour to 29 against and 14 abstentions, the first piece of EU legislation for tracing transfers of crypto-assets like bitcoins and electronic money tokens. The text –which was provisionally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators in June 2022- aims to ensure that crypto transfers, as is the case with any other financial operation, can always be traced and suspicious transactions blocked."

On the wires

March 14, 2023

On the web

EU Merchants Could Be Required to Accept Digital Euro, Ministers Told

Yahoo Finance

"Merchants in the eurozone area could be obliged to accept a digital euro if it is deemed to be legal tender, according to a paper set to be put before finance ministers later Monday and seen by CoinDesk. Giving the central bank digital currency, or CBDC, the same status as banknotes and coins would mean payments legally discharge obligations to pay, and with mandatory acceptance at full face value, the paper said."

January 31, 2023

On the wires

December 8, 2022

On the web

EU Agrees on Digital ID and Wallet Vision, Likely to Implement in 2 Years


“The EU is very close to agreeing on what it means to own digital assets. The Council of the EU is laying the groundwork for European digital identity (eID), which will serve as the EU’s digital wallet. What does that fusion look like? Consisting of 27 countries, the EU accounts for 447 million people. Although its nominal GDP has fallen in 2022 when the EU sanctioned Russia, it is still trailing behind the US at $18 trillion vs. $24 trillion, making it the third largest market behind China. It is, therefore, important when this economic juggernaut sets the rules of engagement on digital assets. The Council of the European Union is the EU’s governing body. As of Tuesday, the Council revised the regulation on the European digital identity (eID). This would be a personal digital wallet hosted on people’s smartphones like other apps. Across EU nations, the eID would follow common technical standards and compulsory certification. This would avoid standard/update fragmentation and security holes. However, this “Union toolbox” is yet to be developed. What would the eID wallet look like?”

October 27, 2022

On the web

‘Seismic Shift’ in Bank Payments to Help Business and Consumers, says EU


“Forcing banks across the European Union to offer instant payments in euros is a “seismic” shift to make the economy more efficient and reap savings for businesses and customers, the bloc’s financial services chief said on Wednesday. Mairead McGuinness proposed a draft EU law that will require banks across the 27-country union to offer and receive “instant payment” (IP) services for a fee that is the same or lower than they charge for traditional credit transfers.   Currently, some banks charge far more for an IP transfer, up to 30 euros ($30) in some cases, compared with traditional transfers. “Moving from ‘next day’ transfers to ’10 seconds’ transfers is seismic and comparable to the move from mail to e-mail,” McGuinness said in a statement.”

October 25, 2022

On the web

EU to Propose Banks Offer Mandatory ‘Instant Payments’ in Euros


“Banks in the euro zone would be required to provide ‘instant payments’ in the single currency 24/7 under draft European Union rules seen by Reuters. The EU wants to modernise payments so that money can be transferred from one account to another in seconds, at any time of the day or night, compared with existing card payments and direct deposits which can take up to several business days. The new rules form part of the bloc’s policy of “fostering the development of competitive home-grown and pan-European market-based payments solutions” in a region where U.S. duo Mastercard and Visa dominate cross-border retail payments.”

September 19, 2022

On the web

Amazon Will Serve as Infrastructure Provider For Digital Euro App


“Amazon is among five companies to develop a digital euro prototype for the ECB. Central bank digital currency (CBDC) development is happening now. China has tested the potential uses of the digital yuan; the U.S. has explored CBDC design options, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has recently finalized the panel of firms joining to create front-end prototypes for the digital euro.”

April 11, 2022

On the web

EU Digital Finance Platform Launches

Finextra Research

“The European Commission has launched the EU Digital Finance Platform, a website designed to build dialogue between fintech players and supervisors. First announced as part of the EC’s digital finance strategy in 2020, the platform went live last week, complete with a virtual launch event attended by Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and Verena Ross, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority.”

March 26, 2021

On the web

Wise Launches Accept My IBAN Initiative to Combat IBAN Discrimination | The Fintech Times

The Fintech Times

“Despite being illegal since 2014, IBAN discrimination – when a company, bank or institution insists you need a local IBAN to pay and your IBAN from another EU country is invalid – is still commonplace throughout Europe. This is why Wise and other financial institutions have launched the Accept My IBAN initiative, allowing consumers to report discrimination without any administrative hassle.According to European law, any IBAN issued in a EU Member State needs to be accepted in all Member States. In spite of this, the issue still persists, and it is not difficult to find recent examples of IBAN discrimination.”

On the wires

Retail Payments: Council Supports Action to Promote Instant Payments and EU-wide Payment Solutions

“EU member states want to make it easier for consumers to pay in shops, and to make e-commerce transactions widely available, convenient and safe across the EU. The Council today adopted conclusions that respond to the retail payments strategy for the EU presented by the Commission in September 2020. Against the background of rapid innovation and digitalisation of the economy, the conclusions welcome the comprehensive strategy set out by the Commission for the further development of the retail payments market in the EU. The Council lends its full support to the overall aims of the strategy, such as ensuring a competitive and innovative retail payments market in the EU, promoting the uptake of instant payments, and creating the conditions for the development of EU-wide payment solutions to decrease the EU’s dependency on major global players in this area.”

January 25, 2021

On the web

Mastercard to increase fees for UK purchases from EU

Financial Times

“Mastercard will increase fees more than fivefold when a British shopper uses a debit or credit card to buy from an EU-based company, sparking alarm among companies that rely on online payments and concern among MPs over higher consumer prices. Mastercard and Visa levy an “interchange” fee on behalf of banks for every debit or credit card payment that uses their networks. The EU introduced a cap in 2015 after concerns the hidden fees were leading to hundreds of millions of euros in costs for companies and higher prices for consumers.”

December 16, 2020

On the wires

Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms

“The Commission has proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space, a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. European values are at the heart of both proposals. The new rules will better protect consumers and their fundamental rights online, and will lead to fairer and more open digital markets for everyone.”

July 2, 2020

On the web

UPDATE 1-Euro Zone Banks Expect Pan-European Payments to Go Live in 2022


“A group of 16 euro zone banks on Thursday said a “truly European” payments system was expected to be up and running in 2022 in a region where half of all retail payments are still in cash. European Union policymakers and central bankers have long sought a “home grown” rival to take on Mastercard and Visa from the United States, and more recently tech giants like Alipay and Google. But this has not happened even though real-time payments have been possible in the euro zone since 2017.”

June 30, 2020

On the web

EU Says Card Fee Curbs Are Working, Retailers Want More

The New York Times

“Caps on the fees retailers pay to process debit and credit card transactions have helped push down prices, EU antitrust regulators said on Monday, but merchants called for even tighter limits. The Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), which was triggered by a lengthy battle between retailers and payments groups including Visa and Mastercard, limits debit card fees at 0.2 percent of the transaction value and credit card fees at 0.3% of the transaction value.”

June 4, 2020

On the wires

Growing Number of European Businesses Adopt White Label Multi-Currency Prepaid Card Programs to Boost Revenue and Brand Marketing, According to Axiom Experts

“When Axiom Prepaid Holdings first launched its prepaid cards for underbanked and unbanked consumers in Europe last summer, it had not yet introduced its White Label program for businesses. Now, after about six months in operation that program, which boasts a multi-currency feature, is proving to be as in demand in the EU as its consumer products.”

February 21, 2020

On the web

EU Eyes Single Space for European Bank Cards


“The European Commission will present this autumn a strategy on an integrated EU payments market, to facilitate the use of national payment services across Europe and reduce the dependency from international card operators such as Visa or Mastercard. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) provides for uniform credit transfers and direct debits for over 500 citizens in the EU. However, a SEPA for cards is still far from a reality, as national card schemes and banks still don’t see the business case of overcoming connectivity and interoperability barriers and setting common standards. The fast-changing realm of instant payments, disrupted by new technology companies, however, may offer an opportunity to achieve a single space for European cards sooner, said the ECB, which ultimately would benefit cardholders and merchants.”

January 22, 2019

Top Post

EC fines Mastercard €570m for anti-competitive antics

FinTech Futures

“The EC says the company’s rules obliged acquiring banks to apply the interchange fees of the country where the retailer was located. Prior to 9 December 2015, when the Interchange Fee Regulation introduced caps, interchange fees “varied considerably” from one country to another in the EEA. As a result, the EC says retailers in high-interchange fee countries could not benefit from lower interchange fees offered by an acquiring bank located in another Member State.”

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