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PSD2: A ‘bull by the horns’ approach to open access

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As the European Commission moves closer towards its ambitions of creating a single European payments market, one proposal put forward in Article 58 of the upcoming Payment Services Directive (PSD2) could have a far-reaching effect on the way payments are transacted across the 28-member bloc. The article includes a provision to regulate third party (so-called “third party payment service providers”)… Continue reading >>

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UK banks face competition probe

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The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is planning to launch an investigation into the UK retail banking sector in a move which could see high-street giants being broken up. The CMA has made a provisional decision to go ahead with a full-scale, 18-month long inquiry into the industry, although it will first carry out a consultation before making a… Continue reading >>

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EU Banking Authority warns financial institutions to avoid virtual currencies

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Europe’s Banking Authority has warned its financial institutions to avoid dealing in Bitcoins and other virtual currencies until a forthcoming regulatory regime has been established. It also laid out various elements that should be a part of future regulation. The EBA, in a recent opinion, identified nearly 70 risks stemming from the new type of currency that could affect users, market participants,… Continue reading >>

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Russia rolls over in deal with Visa and MasterCard

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Visa and MasterCard have reached a compromise agreement with Russian officials that would allow the global card payment companies to continue operating in the country. “MasterCard and Visa will continue business in Russia,” said Andrew Torre, Visa’s general director for Russia. Russia’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said both Visa and MasterCard are ready to create their own Russia-based payment operators, which will take… Continue reading >>

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Canada signs first official law to regulate Bitcoin

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Canada has implemented what is the first official national law on Bitcoin use. Its signing was quiet, notes Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist of Duhaime Law. Last Thursday, royal assent was given by Canada’s Governor General to the discretely-named Bill C-31, An Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget Tabled in Parliament on February 11,… Continue reading >>

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59% of EU merchants will not pass on savings from cap on interchange fees

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A new survey shows that the majority of high value retailers in Europe believe that draft EU rules to cap interchange fees for electronic payments should only go ahead if they apply to all market players. The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of MasterCard, interviewing high value retailers across six European countries to investigate their views on proposed… Continue reading >>

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Interchange – A level playing field?

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While much of the debate around European card regulation and interchange focuses on Visa and MasterCard, how will three-party schemes fare under proposed legislation? The July 2013 publication of European Commission (EC) draft legislation concerning card payments and interchange has had many ongoing ramifications for payment networks in Europe. Joel van Arsdale, a partner at consultancy First Annapolis, explained at… Continue reading >>

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Visa and MasterCard will continue to operate in Russia

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Visa and MasterCard plan to continue to operate in Russia, following compromise agreements with the Russian government in the wake of the sanctions imposed on the country due to the ongoing Ukraine/Crimea tensions in the region. Following the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia in March this year, Visa and MasterCard both stopped processing card transactions for certain Russian banks…. Continue reading >>

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European Payments Council launches public consultation on the evolution of the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit schemes

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The European Payments Council (EPC), representing the European banking industry in relation to payments, today launched a three-month public consultation on possible modifications to the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks. The EPC encourages all Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) stakeholders to provide feedback by 15 August 2014. The next generation rulebooks, (SCT Rulebook version 8.0,… Continue reading >>

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ECB steps up SEPA for cards initiative

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Following the near completion of the migration of the first two payment instruments, credit transfers (CTs) and direct debits (DDs), to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), the Eurosystem is now turning its attention to the SEPA for cards initiative, harmonising the largest electronic retail payment instrument: card payments. A new and comprehensive report entitled “Card payments in Europe – a… Continue reading >>

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