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June 2, 2023

On the web

June 1, 2023

On the wires

Mesh Payments Expands Across Europe, UK, and Asia to Support Global Enterprises with Unified Spend Management in Local Currencies

PR Newswire

"Today Mesh Payments announced expansion of its unified spend management platform to support global multinational businesses operating in Europe, UK, and Asia in local currencies. Mesh now enables companies to operate globally across international entities, issue local cards and settle in local currencies all from one unified platform."

May 19, 2023

On the web

BoE To Stop Revolut Bid For UK Bank Licence: Report


"The Bank of England is preparing to reject a bid by digital bank Revolut for a UK banking licence, citing balance sheet issues, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Friday. Revolut, Britain's most valuable fintech company, told the paper the issue in fact surrounded auditor concerns over revenues. The Bank of England made no comment when approached by AFP."

May 17, 2023

On the wires

Nearly 6 Million Britons Missed Payments on Bills, Regulator Says


"Millions of British borrowers repeatedly missed payments on bills in the six months to January amid the steep surge in the cost of living and higher interest rates, a survey from the Financial Conduct Authority regulator showed on Tuesday. British households have faced double-digit inflation since September and the government's budget forecasters have said the country is heading for a record decline in living standards over the two years to March 2024."

May 16, 2023

On the web

17% Drop in APP Fraud Highlights Influence of Confirmation of Payee and Tailored Communications: FICO

Electronic Payments International

"UK fraud losses overall fell by 8% to £1.2bn, driven by a 17% fall in authorised push payment (APP) losses. Specifically, APP fraud dropped to £485.2m in 2022, following a 39% rise the previous year. While the efforts of Confirmation of Payee and tailored communications have been successful, more can be done to further eradicate payments fraud in the UK, argues Matt Cox, MD, EMEA, FICO."

May 12, 2023

On the web

What the Prime Minister’s Fraud Strategy Means for You


"” Fraud now accounts for over 40% of crime. It costs us nearly £7 billion a year and we know these proceeds are funding organised crime and terror. What’s more, new technologies are making these scams easier to do and harder to police. It’s time to take the fight to the scammers and fraudsters, and put an end to these crimes which can devastate lives and livelihoods within seconds. Today, we’re launching our new plan to tackle fraud."

May 11, 2023

On the web

Warning UK Losing £2,300 Per Minute to Fraud

BBC News

"People in the UK lost £1.2bn to fraud in 2022, the equivalent of £2,300 every minute, according to bank industry group UK Finance. It said around three million scams took place - slightly less than the previous year - with frauds involving payment cards being the most common. UK Finance said losses were not always reimbursed and urged tech firms to "share the burden" of covering costs. Ministers say they will get tougher on scams as part of a national strategy.  Fraud is now the most common crime in the UK, with one in 15 people falling victim."

New Barclays Tool Lets UK Businesses Invoice in Local Currencies


"Barclays and B2B payments tech company TransferMate have announed a new partnership to provide a new international receivables tool for the British companies.Barclays' British business customers operating in GBP will now be able to invoice customers in their clients’ local currency in over 60 currencies and across 67 countries.Users will receive the payment back into their GBP account at the exact amount requested with manual reconciliation eliminated, said the bank."

April 27, 2023

On the wires

FICO UK Credit Card Market Report: February 2023

Business Wire

"The latest data from FICO on UK credit card trends illustrates the financial balancing act many consumers are facing. Average card spend has increased month-on-month and year-on-year. Higher prices for day-to-day purchases will be reflected in this increase. UK consumers are also paying off less of their outstanding balance, indicating the squeeze on personal budgets."

April 24, 2023

On the web

UK Government Adopts a “Pro-Innovation” Approach to AI Regulation

Inside Privacy

"On 29 March 2023, the UK Government published a White Paper entitled “A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation” (“White Paper”). The White Paper elaborates on the approach to AI set out by the Government in its 2022 AI Governance and Regulation Policy Statement (“Policy Statement” – covered in our blog post). This announcement comes following the Government’s commitments, in the Spring Budget 2023, to build an expert taskforce to develop the UK’s capabilities in AI foundation models and produce guidance on the relationship between intellectual property law and generative AI."

April 19, 2023

On the wires

FICO Data: UK Credit Card Customers Showing Signs of Financial Stress


"New analysis of UK credit card activity from FICO has revealed worrying payment patterns amongst customers who have held their cards for between one and five years, known as the Established vintage. This group is showing increased rates of missed payments and other signs of financial stress. This will particularly be a concern for risk managers, with new Consumer Duty expectations starting in July."

April 18, 2023

On the wires

Bank of England Says May Need Limits on Using Stablecoins for Payments


"There may need to be limits initially on the use of major stablecoins for payments, and they should also be backed by high quality and liquid assets to protect consumers, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said on Monday. Britain is due to adopt rules for regulating stablecoins, a form of cryptocurrency backed by an asset or fiat currency, which consumers could use to make payments digitally."

April 17, 2023

On the wires

Britain Seeks to Boost Banking Services from Fintechs


"Britain's financial regulators said on Monday they would set up a new body over the next two years to encourage more competition in banking services through the use of third-party apps from fintech firms. Open banking refers to third-party firms using banking data from customers at mainstream lenders to offer tailored services such as lending or payments, a sector that has helped to turn Britain's fintech sector into the world's third largest with 2,500 companies."

March 15, 2023

On the web

March 14, 2023

On the web

HSBC Plans to Inject £2 Billion ($2.4 Billion) into Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Division


"HSBC Holdings Plc is planning to inject £2 billion ($2.4 billion) of liquidity into Silicon Valley Bank’s UK division, a move capping a frenzied weekend of talks that saw Europe’s largest lender take ownership of the stricken subsidiary. Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn and Ian Stuart, the head of HSBC UK, told London tech investors on a call Monday that the bank would commit billions of pounds to ensure that business-as-usual continued at SVB UK after it bought the unit for £1."

February 6, 2023

On the wires

UK Plans to Reimburse Scam Victims 'Fundamentally Flawed,' Lawmakers Say


Proposals to reimburse hundreds of millions of pounds to scam victims in Britain are "fundamentally flawed" and are taking too long to come into force, lawmakers said in a report published on Monday. Banks will have to refund within 48 hours customers tricked into sending money to fraudsters under plans drawn up by watchdog the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) unveiled in September.

January 10, 2023

On the web

Digital Wallets and Biometrics to Replace Traditional Payments in UK: Mastercard Survey

Biometric Update

"Roughly half (51 percent) of people in the UK believe physical wallets will become less relevant as digital ways to pay become increasingly popular, new research from Mastercard suggests. The data hints at a decrease in cash usage in the UK. According to Mastercard, around 60 percent of payments were made in cash a decade ago, with UK Finance estimating that this figure will fall to 6 percent by 2031."

December 26, 2022

On the web

BP and MAN to Pilot In-Vehicle Contactless Payments for Truck Drivers (UK)


“Petrol retailer BP and truck and bus manufacturer MAN are teaming up to pilot in-vehicle contactless payments at fuel stations across the UK. MAN plans to follow the UK pilot of its new MAN SimplePay digital wallet for trucks with a rollout in Germany and then additional countries “later”. For the UK pilot, MAN is initially launching a solution for automated contactless and secure payment processes when refuelling that lets the driver stay with the truck, “thus eliminating visits to the filling station shop and saving time as a result. This also reduces possible contact with other people in times of the coronavirus pandemic.””

December 16, 2022

On the wires

Billhop & UnionPay International Announce New Partnership

PR Newswire

“Billhop, the smart online bill payment platform, announces a new partnership with UnionPay International (UPI), the global network servicing the world’s largest cardholder base, enabling support for UnionPay card products across its digital payment solutions. The agreement highlights Billhop’s and UPI’s commitment to prioritising accessibility and adoption within the card payments sphere. UnionPay cardholders across the EEA and the UK will be able to access Billhop’s unique card payment solutions, developed to simplify payments and unlock better cash flow control by bridging the gaps around card acceptance rates. The partnership enables UnionPay credit cardholders to pay almost any bill or supplier invoice accepted by Billhop, even when their end beneficiary does not accept card payments.”

Meet Mercuryo`s Banking-as-a-Service Payment Solution With The New Partner – Advcash

PR Newswire

“More and more companies are realising the need to introduce innovative products that solve pain points of the current market. Meet Advcash, another company that has integrated a breakthrough solution from Mercuryo – Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS). Advcash is an electronic payment and digital currency platform offering services for individuals and online businesses. It has partnered with Mercuryo, a cryptopowered global payments infrastructure provider, to equip its users with virtual IBANs, becoming the second company in less than three months to have implemented this solution.”

December 14, 2022

On the wires

Cash Use Slips to Just 15% of British Purchases in 2021


“ritish shoppers used cash in only 15% of transactions in 2021, half the level of the year before and down from nearly 40% before the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers said on Friday. The British Retail Consortium said government advice to go contactless during the pandemic, as well as a surge in online shopping, had accelerated an existing shift away from cash. Debit cards accounted for 67% of transactions last year, up from 54% in 2020, while credit cards made up 15%, up from 14%, said the BRC, which represents major stores who accounted for almost 40% of British retail sales last year.”

December 9, 2022

On the web

A New Messaging Standard for UK Payments: ISO 20022

Bank of England

“Payments data in the UK is changing.  The UK payments industry is moving to ISO 20022, the emerging global standard for payments messaging. This standard creates a common language for payments data across the globe. This change includes our sterling high value payment system CHAPS, which will migrate to ISO 20022 messaging on 19 June 2023. Better data in payments promises to deliver significant long-term benefits for the economy. To adapt to the new messaging standard and accompanying data requirements, your organisation might have to make process and technology changes.”

December 8, 2022

On the web

Half of UK Online Retailers Worried About Surviving the Next 12 Months – Could Instant Payments Save the Day?

Internet Retailing

“British business is bracing itself for a difficult year ahead, new research from Europe’s leading open banking platform, Tink, has revealed. In a recent survey of UK online retailers, half (50%) said they are worried about how their business will survive the next 12 months, with four in ten (41%) afraid of going bankrupt.  As consumers rein in spending, two thirds (66%) of retailers are expecting to see, or are already seeing, more abandoned baskets – particularly at the point of payment (64%). Lower average order values (75%) and fewer repeat customers (67%) are also either expected or already being observed. To adapt and survive, four in ten (40%) retailers have already or are considering cutting costs across the board – from reducing staff (49%) and training (55%) to advertising (52%), technology and online/website investments (48%). Services that customers have come to expect for free are also under threat – with over half of merchants having already stopped or are considering stopping free delivery (53%) and free returns (54%).  Top priorities for merchants looking to reduce payments related costs include reducing payment acceptance fees (44%), lowering costs associated with fraud (35%) and cutting refund costs (40%).”

November 4, 2022

On the wires

Santander to Block UK Transfers to Crypto Exchanges in 2023

“Santander will block UK customers from sending real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges next year as part of measures to protect customers from scams, the bank said in an emailed statement on Friday. At an unspecified point during 2023, the bank will introduce a block on all real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges made via telephone banking and in-branch payments, as well as online and mobile banking.”

August 22, 2022

On the web

FCA Warns Buy Now Pay Later Firms About Misleading Adverts


“The FCA has warned firms that offer Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products that although some agreements are unregulated the financial promotions of all BNPL products must comply with the financial promotion rules. Unauthorised firms might be committing a criminal offence if they don’t have an FCA-authorised firm approve their financial promotions.   Authorised firms selling unregulated or exempt BNPL products must comply with the relevant rules unless an exemption applies. This includes that their BNPL financial promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading.  The FCA is concerned consumers could be misled if BNPL financial promotions do not comply and has seen financial adverts on websites and social media, including posts by social media influencers, which may breach FCA rules.”

August 17, 2022

On the web

Funding Circle Cofounder Unveils New Super Payments Fintech Venture With $27M Investment


“Funding Circle cofounder Samir Desai has unveiled a new U.K. fintech startup called Super Payments , a venture he founded back in February but which very little was known about up until now. Reports emerged a few months back that Desai had raised around $30 million for this new company, and today this has been confirmed. Super has raised £22.5 million (roughly $27 million as of today) in a round of funding led by Accel, with participation from Union Square Ventures, LocalGlobe, and a slew of angel investors. While Super isn’t opening for business until later this year, the company has now instigated a waitlist for consumers and businesses keen to be first-in-line for when things officially get off the ground — this will include an early-access program.”

UK Group to Test Stablecoin Payments, Provide Data to Bank of England


“The Digital FMI Consortium, a group of private-sector companies, said it plans to test cross-border payments and provide recommendations to the Bank of England using its own sterling-backed stablecoin, dSterling. “The backing of the dSterling will be pounds held in a Bank of England reserve account and it is 100% backed,” a company spokeperson told CoinDesk. The pilot, known as Project New Era, will start in October and run for 12-24 months, it said a press release . Digital FMI, which has 15-20 members, will provide white papers and recommendations to the Bank of England and other regulators. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency designed to hold its value against another asset, often the U.S. dollar.”

August 11, 2022

On the web

Open Banking Oversight Committee Takes Next Step with Creation of Working Group


“Bryan Zhang, the co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, will head up the strategic working group for the oversight of open banking. The UK has moved another step closer to a clear vision of the open banking Oversight Committee with its latest appointment.   Bryan Zhang will act as the new independent chair for the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee’s (JROC) strategic working group (SWG). Co-chaired by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR), the SWG is a non-decision-making consultative forum to provide industry and stakeholder insight to help shape the future development of open banking.”

June 23, 2022

On the web

FICO UK Credit Card Market Report April 2022

Business Wire

“FICO’s report of April 2022 UK card trends shows some early signs of the impact of the widely reported cost-of-living pressures. The monthly report based on the largest consortium of UK cards data shows a typical rise in card spend and balances, but also a slight increase in missed payments. Average monthly spend hit £760, tied with December 2021 as the highest in more than two years. Highlights: Average total sales at £760 – a 10 percent month on month increase, which is typical behaviour in card spend for the time of yearAverage active balance is also rising month on month – again typical for the time of year. No change month on month in percentage of payments to balance, suggesting continued pragmatic management of credit card accounts. But a small uplift in the average balance for accounts missing 1 payment suggests inflation is having an impact”

May 19, 2022

On the web

UK’s Digital Watchdogs Take a Closer Look at Algorithmic Processing

Business News Wales

“This “algorithmic processing” is commonplace and often beneficial, underpinning many of the products and services we use in everyday life. From detecting fraudulent activity in financial services to connecting us with friends online or translating languages at the click of a button, these systems have become a core part of modern society. However, algorithmic systems, particularly modern Machine Learning (ML) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches, pose significant risks if used without due care. They can introduce or amplify harmful biases that lead to discriminatory decisions or unfair outcomes that reinforce inequalities. They can be used to mislead consumers and distort competition. Regulators need to work together to articulate the nature and severity of these risks and take measures to mitigate them. That’s how they can help empower the development and deployment of algorithmic processing systems in safe, responsible ways that are pro-innovation and pro-consumer.”

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