K&L Gates is proud to host the 2021 Consumer Financial Services Symposium – Virtual Edition. This symposium will consist of a series of webinars over the course of several weeks with the first panel focusing on FinTech Trends, Developments, and New Directions on Wednesday, April 21 at 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST.Read More
By Cameron Abbott and Harry Crawford
With 2017 at a close, US banks have set out their 2018 FinTech new year resolutions. According to American Banker, US banks are likely to focus their FinTech investment in 4 major areas in 2018:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Open banking
- Cybersecurity and biometrics
- Commercial banking innovation
By Cameron Abbott and Olivia Coburn
Oracle has finally realised that it wants to hang out with the cool FinTech kids on the block, having recently announced the release of its Oracle Banking Payments application programming interface (API) service.
Oracle’s move recognises the value of offering better ways for its banking clients to collaborate with FinTechs and other third parties.
By Claire de Koeyer and Jim Bulling
The ability to transfer funds from one account to another in near real-time using just an email address or mobile number is getting closer for Australians with the RBA advising that developments are on track to allow the first payments to be made through a new payment platform towards the end of 2017. The new platform, the development of which was commenced by the RBA in 2012, allows for near real-time funds transfer between bank accounts, regardless of who people bank with.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued its Business Plan 2017/18 that deals with its FinTech and RegTech priorities for the year ahead. The FCA wants to engage more with regional and Scottish FinTech hubs. In its risk outlook, the FCA talks about more complex value chains that utilise FinTech posing a risk to consumer protection and market integrity. The issues associated with the oversight and controls of increasingly complex chains of third party relationships are reflected in the FCA’s priorities. The technological resilience of incumbent firms will also continue to be an area of focus because of the risk of disruption to financial markets. The FCA states that FinTech firms may not fully understand the scope of regulation and its impact on their business model. This could lead to cases of non-compliance with FCA rules, which could pose risks to consumer protection and market integrity. In addition, the FCA fears that greater reliance on technology poses increased operational risk, and risks to market integrity. The FCA believes that FinTech business models shift risk from financial firms to consumers without consumers fully understanding the implications or having adequate safeguards.
By Tyler Kirk
The International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) just wrapped up a panel on “FinTech and the Transformation of Financial Services” here in Washington, DC. Presenting 4 propositions, the IMF invited the panelists and the audience to vote on whether they agreed or disagreed with each. Following the panel’s discussion on each proposition, the votes were compared. To the exclusion of all other Fintech topics, there was an almost singular focus on blockchain in each panelist’s response to the propositions. This focus by itself is illuminating, however the audience and the panel diverged dramatically on one proposition, whether FinTech will help rather than hinder regulation of AML and combatting the financing of terrorism (“CFT”). The panel agreed, 92% to 8%, that FinTech would assist with AML and CFT efforts. The audience was essentially split, agreeing 57% to 43%. Similarly, 40% of the audience believed FinTech posed a threat to financial stability while only 17% of the experts shared that view. The takeaway here is that, while those of us who are intimately familiar with this technology clearly understand its benefits, the general electorate does not. So, does Congress? Financial regulators? Now is the time to engage counsel and shape public policy.
NetSpend Corporation has reached a settlement with the U.S. FTC about the FTC’s claims that NetSpend’s advertisements deceived consumers about the availability of funds deposited on general purpose reloadable prepaid cards (GPR Cards).
On its website, NetSpend indicates that its target customers are those without a traditional bank account or who “rely on alternative financial services.” According to the FTC’s November 2016 complaint, NetSpend’s advertising promises “guaranteed approval” and “immediate access” to funds that are “always available.” Instead, the complaint alleges, cardholders experienced delayed or denied access to funds on their GPR Cards and NetSpend depleted account balances by charging inactivity fees and often delayed resolving and providing provisional credit for account errors. The FTC also noted in its complaint that thousands of customers “complained about NetSpend’s practices to government authorities, Better Business Bureau and NetSpend itself.”
Indonesia’s financial services authority (OJK) has issued its first regulations relating to FinTech. The regulations lay out minimum capital requirements, interest rate provision and education and consumer protection rules.
Every Indonesian FinTech P2P lending firm must now register and secure a business licence from the authority. A company must have Indonesian Rupiah 1 billion ($75,000) in capital to register, and a further Indonesian Rupiah 2.5 billion ($188,000) to apply for a business licence. These figures are approximately half those that had been proposed in previously issued draft regulations. Foreign ownership is limited to 85%.
No maximum interest rate has been set, which again contradicts previous drafts of the regulations which set a cap of seven times Bank Indonesia’s seven-day reverse purchase rate per annum.
Muliaman Hadad, chair of OJK, told the Jakarta Post that the regulation was only an initial step in the authorities’ efforts to regulate and supervise the business. “What’s important is they get onto our radar because we don’t want to regulate the prudential aspects hastily. We want to provide [business] transparency guidelines first,” Hadad said. The OJK also has implemented a regulatory sandbox for firms to test services for consumers.
Bank Indonesia set up a dedicated office and regulatory sandbox in November 2016 to help FinTech developers. It will also provide services to help developers to understand Indonesia’s regulatory policies on FinTech, gather and disseminate information on developments, and hold regular meetings with authorities and international bodies interested in the use of technology in finance, Bank Indonesia said.
For a full text (in Indonesian) of the regulations, please click here.
“Getting the Deal Through” is a publication that provides international expert analysis in key areas of law, practice and regulation for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners, and company directors and officers.
The inaugural edition of Fintech serves as a resource to help fintech entrepreneurs and their advisers and investors around the world navigate the often complex key legal and regulatory issues on which we are most often asked to advise. Two of the chapters were authored by K&L Gates lawyers.
To read this publication, click here.