Regulatory Round-Up: Payments Conferences Special

In September and October, dozens of conference sessions were dedicated to payments across the world. Our reporters picked the 20 most relevant ones and reported on what you need to know. 
 

Here is a snapshot of what was said.

At the Open Banking Expo (September 24), industry figures grappled with the finer details of open banking concerns ahead of Brexit, particularly questions about the use of eIDAS certificates for authenticating third-party providers in the UK.

The following week, at P20, the head of financial services at the UK’s Treasury suggested that the rise in contactless payment limits occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic could be further increased.

However, at the same time, the U.S. Federal Reserve was keen to hang on to cash, throwing its weight behind the idea that stores could be banned from refusing to accept physical currency.

October started with Sibos, which was full of optimism in the industry over the potential offered by the ISO 20022 standard, with commentators hailing its potential to ease reporting requirements and smooth cross-border transfers.

At the same event, the People’s Bank of China pulled back a little more of the curtain on its central bank digital currency project. It revealed precise figures around testing of the technology and outlined some of the steps it would take to ensure the private sector was not unduly disadvantaged by the innovation, while urging international coordination.

At MoneyFest, Mastercard showed an interest in the European Payments Initiative, hinting at future engagement with the project.

 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond…

In September, U.S. lawmakers and regulators placed increasing focus on data privacy issues — the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted the Data To Go Workshop,  where a European Commission official revealed that the agency is planning to look again at data portability as individuals do not fully exercise that right.

The following day, U.S. senators heard ex-commissioners of the FTC and regulators from California, the first state to adopt an overarching data privacy law in the country, clashing over the question of whether a federal privacy act should serve as a “floor” or a “ceiling” for state laws.

During DC FinTech week in October, the country’s first “fintech” comptroller of the currency advocated for a world without banks, while the country’s Federal Reserve took a moderate stance on deciding whether or not Americans need a central bank digital currency.

During the same week, Facebook’s foray into currency creation was welcomed as a catalyst for innovation and for regulation too. The company has laid down the gauntlet for the payments industry, according to Swiss financial regulator Mark Branson. Later, however, VIXIO reported that Facebook was not so sure about Libra. 

…and there were countless sessions on CBDCs, which we have also duly reported on, along with many others…

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