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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Mobile Wallet Payments: EPC White Paper

The European Payments Council has issued a white paper on mobile wallet payments in an attempt to drive (bank-centric) 'standards, best practices and schemes' for mobile payments. 

While comments from "all interested stakeholders" are welcomed by 30 September 2013, one needs to bear in mind that the EPC represents the European banking industry. The claim (in footnote 3) that the banking industry includes payment institutions is disingenuous at best. The creation of payment institutions via the Payment Services Directive reflected the European Commission's avowed intent to carve out payment services from the banking monopoly. Some PIs are members of the EPC but most are not, and it's especially telling that neither e-money nor e-money institutions are mentioned in this white paper at all, yet are firmly engaged in providing mobile payment services. 

You will also gather from the overly enthusiastic use of banking and payment applications during the "day in the life of Mr Garcia" that the EPC is not overly fond of retail apps that embed the payment step to the point of convenient invisibility.

As a result, the paper may be interesting if you want to know how retail banks view the mobile payments market segment, but if you're interested in payments innovation more generally you'll need to spend most of the time reading between the lines...

Image from BankingTech

Monday, 8 July 2013

Draft Peer-to-Peer Lending Regulations

The draft regulations enabling the Financial Conduct Authority to regulated peer-to-peer lending have been published for parliamentary approval (see Articles 36H-I). There have been some changes to since the previous version in the March consultation to remove certain issues. The more detailed FCA rules should be out with a further consultation paper in September/October.

Basically, your platform is 'in scope' for FCA purposes if it enables loans to which individuals are a party as lenders and/or borrowers (either on their own or as a member of an unincorporated association or a partnerships of two or three). However, there is an exception in the case of borrowers, where either the lender provides the borrower with credit of more than £25,000 or the loan is entered into by the borrower wholly or predominantly for the purposes of a business carried on, or intended to be carried on, by the borrower.