Category: Payment Systems

1
The RBA Gets Punitive: Penalties Recommended for Delaying New Payments Platform Participants
2
Banks Invest in Developing a Digital Blockchain Settlement System
3
Make cryptocurrency by driving a Jag?! Sign us up
4
CFPB Seeking Comments On Possible Remittance Rule Revisions
5
Senate Committee publishes report and recommendations on regulation of Australian buy now pay later industry
6
California Regulator Seeking Comments on “Agent of the Payee” Exemption to Money Transmission Law
7
Crypto founder’s death elevates taking a secret to the grave to the next level
8
Australian Gift Cards – Additional Consumer Protections
9
The Rise of PayWear
10
Australian Council of Financial Regulators consults on changes to Stored-Value Facilities Regulation

The RBA Gets Punitive: Penalties Recommended for Delaying New Payments Platform Participants

By Jim Bulling and Charles McDonald

On 13 June 2019, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released its paper into the New Payments Platform’s Functionality and Access (Paper). In it, the RBA expressed disappointment with the slow roll out of New Payments Platform’s (NPP) services and functionality. As a consequence, the RBA will continue to push the major banks to prioritise the roll-out of services to their customers to address functionality gaps as quickly as possible. The Paper also recommends that NPP Australia Ltd (as operator of the platform) should:

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Banks Invest in Developing a Digital Blockchain Settlement System

By Jim Bulling, Felix Charlesworth and Andrew Fay

Late last month, several of the world’s largest banks invested $50 million in a digital cash settlement project with the aim of developing a more efficient clearing and settlement system. The new technology, referred to as the ‘utility settlement coin’ (USC), has been a work in progress since 2015, after Swiss bank UBS Group and London-based technology startup Clearmatics announced to the market that they had commenced working on the project.

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Make cryptocurrency by driving a Jag?! Sign us up

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

Firstly, no, you don’t have to be an Uber driver driving a Jag to reap the benefit of the car manufacturer’s new innovation.

Jaguar Land Rover has announced it is testing “Smart Wallet” technology that will enable drivers to earn cryptocurrency while driving.

How? Technology embedded in the car will automatically report road condition data, such as traffic congestion and potholes to navigation providers and local authorities, which will earn the car’s driver credits.

The credits can be used to buy coffee, pay tolls and parking tickets – which all sounds pretty handy to us.

Jag has partnered with IOTA Foundation which is providing the “IOTA-powered car wallet” which uses a distributed ledger technology to make and receive payments. It is currently being trialled in Ireland. IOTA forecasts that 75 billion devices will be connected to the Smart Wallet technology by 2025 – we’re pretty excited to see how this unfolds.

CFPB Seeking Comments On Possible Remittance Rule Revisions

By Daniel S. Cohen and Jeremy M. McLaughlin

On April 25th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) issued a request for information (“RFI”) asking for input about the scope of its Remittance Rule (the “Rule”), whether the Bureau should exempt certain small financial institutions from the Rule, and how the expiration of the Rule’s “temporary exemption” for insured depository institutions and credit unions would adversely affect consumers.  Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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Senate Committee publishes report and recommendations on regulation of Australian buy now pay later industry

Jim Bulling and Felix Charlesworth

Following on from the Senate Hearings in January 2019, the Economic References Committee (Committee) published its Report on credit and financial services targeted at Australians at risk of financial hardship.

In addressing the current regulation of the buy now pay later (BNPL) industry, the Committee raised its concerns about the ease of accessibility of BNPL services to consumers experiencing financial hardship. Despite BNPL businesses, such as AfterPay and Zip.co stating that they already had algorithms in place to detect whether it was appropriate to provide services to an individual, the Committee stated that “clearly more needs to be done to ensure consumers are protected, and company algorithms alone are not sufficient.”

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California Regulator Seeking Comments on “Agent of the Payee” Exemption to Money Transmission Law

By Jeremy M McLaughlin

Several states exempt from their money transmission law, either through statute or regulatory guidance, an “agent of the payee.”  California is one such state.  In general, the exemption applies to a party that a payee has appointed as its agent for purposes of receiving payment from a payor.  The Department of Business Oversight (“DBO”), the agency that enforces California’s money transmitter law, has invited comments on a proposed rule making regarding the scope of the exemption.  Comments are due by April 9, 2019.

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Crypto founder’s death elevates taking a secret to the grave to the next level

By Cameron Abbott and Ella Richards

In an age where cyber security breaches are a near daily occurrence, and where we’re frequently reminded to keep our passwords secret and safe, the story that’s emerged regarding the fate of over AU$190 million of crypto-currency following the death of Gerald Cotten, the founder of Quadriga CX, is a little ironic to say the least.

The untimely death of the 30-year-old in December brought with it an unexpected sober reality – Mr Cotten was the only person with access to Quadriga’s coin reserve. No really … the ONLY person… you can see where this is going can’t you?

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Australian Gift Cards – Additional Consumer Protections

By Jim Bulling, Edwin Tan and Elise Hamblin

Every year, Australian consumers suffer an estimated loss of $70 million through gift cards expiring before use. On 18 October 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Act 2018 (Gift Card Act) was passed in an effort to reduce this loss.  Fintech card issuers should be aware of the upcoming changes and start making preparations to ensure that they continue to be compliant with the regulatory requirements.

What will change?

The Gift Card Act amends the Australian Consumer Law to create a national regime where:

  • gift cards must have a minimum expiry period of three years;
  • expiry information on gift cards must be prominently displayed; and
  • the charging of fees (except certain prescribed fees) after a gift card has been supplied will be prohibited.

We expect that the amendments will not apply to reloadable cards.

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The Rise of PayWear

By Jim Bulling and Elise Hamblin

Contactless payment technology has expanded beyond traditional credit or debit cards to include smart watches and phones that are fitted with “Near Field Communication” technology. Westpac is now the first major bank in Australia to embrace “PayWear” as the next development in this space.

What is “PayWear”?

PayWear allows a consumer to make payments by tapping a “Smart” accessory to a contactless payment terminal. For example, Westpac’s “Centsitive Objects” range has reimagined the traditional Debit Mastercard as an accessory. Other smaller banks have also recently introduced PayWear options for consumers, including Heritage Bank’s wearable wrist band and Bankwest’s payment ring.

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Australian Council of Financial Regulators consults on changes to Stored-Value Facilities Regulation

By Jim Bulling, Felix Charlesworth and Edwin Tan

The Australian Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) today published an Issues Paper reviewing the regulatory regime of stored-value facilities including purchased payment facilities (PPFs).  The CFR comprises regulators such as APRA, ASIC and the RBA.

PPFs enable funds to be stored for the purpose of making future payments and include mobile wallet services and prepaid cards.  PPF providers must be licensed and supervised by APRA or otherwise rely on an exemption from complying with the legislative requirements.  The RBA has declared several class exemptions for PPFs, including the “limited-value facilities” exemption for PPFs with payment obligations of $10 million or under.

To date, PayPal is the only entity licensed and supervised by APRA as a PPF provider and only one entity has obtained individual exemption from the RBA.  These results support arguments that the current framework is too complicated, deters potential new entrants and imposes significant compliance costs.

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