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UK regulator to explore blockchain technology

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is to explore the potential benefits of blockchain technology, which underpins bitcoin, for use in the wider financial services industry, according to the regulator’s chief executive. At the Financial News and WSJD inaugural Fintech Conference in London, Martin Wheatley also said the FCA is looking at the role regulation can play in the world of digital currencies. He… Continue reading >>

Beijing breaks payment card market monopoly

Visa and MasterCard have welcomed China’s plans to open up its market for clearing domestic payment card transactions, as they stand to gain access to a growing market worth more than $1 trillion a year. While China lags behind countries such as the USA in spending on credit, habits are changing fast and the Chinese are increasingly swiping plastic to satisfy their growing… Continue reading >>

ECB identifies 4 key payment systems as systematically important

The European Central Bank (ECB) has flexed its muscles in the payment systems oversight area for the first time through the exercise of new powers by identifying 4 payment systems that it feels are systematically important, which places them under stricter oversight standards than other payment systems, with sanctions and corrective measures for system operators in case of non-adherence. The four systems… Continue reading >>

70% of banks increasing innovation spend

Despite conflicting priorities and the economic downturn, banks around the world are still increasing their investments in innovation. These key findings are part of Innovation in Retail Banking 2014, the sixth annual study commissioned by Infosys and Efma. Financial institutions the world over are raising their innovation spend significantly in a desperate attempt to fend off the threat to their established… Continue reading >>

Fintech investment: Sell the story…And keep selling it

Much has been made of the boom in Europe’s financial technology sector in 2014. And, as our analysis of the publicly disclosed deals and investors in the fintech sector shows (see table), not all of it is hype. Europe, and in particular the UK’s ability to attract investment in start-up financial technology firms is a bright star in the region’s… Continue reading >>

Carney launches review Chaps payment system outage

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has launched an independent review into the worst disruption of Britain’s banking payment system, the Chaps payment system, in seven years. The BoE said part of its real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), which underpins large transfers between bank accounts, had been “paused”, after routine maintenance – reports the FT. The breakdown meant the Chaps payment system, which last year processed… Continue reading >>

Royal Bank of Scotland enters P2P lending market

Royal Bank of Scotland is set to enter the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending market in the latest sign that alternative finance is gaining traction by moving into the mainstream. The high street bank is planning to pilot an online peer-to-peer platform before the end of the year in a tie-up with a third party operator – reports the FT. The move is part of… Continue reading >>

MasterCard and Zwipe announce world’s first biometric contactless payment card

MasterCard and Zwipe announced their partnership for the launch of the world’s first biometric contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. The launch of the card comes after a successful live pilot with Norway’s Sparebanken DIN, aligned to the Eika Group, as an answer to the complex challenge of providing a fast, convenient payment solution that does not compromise on… Continue reading >>

Alibaba make new financial services push

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group said on Thursday it has folded six different businesses into a single business unit and changed the name of its Alipay financial services affiliate to Ant Financial Services Group as it steps up its push into the financial services industry. Alibaba has been aggressively offering new financial services around Alipay, including a money market fund for consumers,… Continue reading >>

SIA launches mobile money service

Italian payment processor SIA has launched a SEPA-compliant smartphone-based mobile money transfer service, enabling users to send and receive money in real time to and from their phone contacts. The ‘Jiffy’ app, which utilises SEPA credit transfers, is available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems. The Jiffy app links users’ current accounts, the IBAN code of the account… Continue reading >>