The office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on June 3, 2020, focusing on digital banking activities. Typically such ANPRs are a precursor to new federal regulation; following collection of data from the industry and other interested parties, the OCC may propose new regulations by issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking within 6-12 months. Responses to the ANPR are due on August 3, 2020.Read More
By Jim Bulling and Rebecca Gill
On 23 October 2019, the Senate Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology (Committee) published an issues paper regarding its comprehensive inquiry into fintechs and regtechs in Australia. One aspect of the inquiry looks into the possibility of extending the Consumer Data Right (CDR) to the superannuation industry.Read More
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:Read More
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.”Read More
On 22 January 2018, two of the largest ‘buy now, pay later’ businesses in Australia, Afterpay and Zip.co, appeared at a hearing before the Senate’s Economic References Committee.
During the Senate hearing, both Zip.co and Afterpay presented how their respective business models operate and responded to questions about how the ‘buy now, pay later’ industry should be regulated. As previously mentioned, ‘buy now, pay later’ businesses are not currently classified as ‘credit providers’ under the National Credit Code (Code) and, as such, are not subject to the responsible lending obligations under the Code.Read More
On 9 May 2018, the Australian Government confirmed their decision to establish an Australian Open Banking regime and implement the recommendations set out in the Farrell Report titled “Review into Open Banking in Australia”. This follows the Government’s report into Open Banking released in February 2018 which broadly supported the creation of a new data-sharing regime in the financial services industry. The Australian Government has set aside roughly $45 million over four years to develop the creation of a Consumer Data Right which includes the establishment of the Open Banking framework.
The UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on FinTech and APPG on Alternative Lending will be hosting an invite-only roundtable on Open Banking, taking place on 31 January from 9:00-10.30am at the Houses of Parliament.
Open Banking went live in the UK on 13 January. From this date, the high street banks were required to make their customers’ bank transaction data available to third party businesses when instructed to do so by the customer. This is the first major milestone in a multi-year programme to open all payment products to the market for financial services. Over time, it is expected to revolutionise the way consumers and small businesses use and access financial services.
Open Banking was the main remedy mandated by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following its investigation into the supply of personal current accounts and banking services in 2016. The CMA concluded that UK banks do not compete hard enough for customers’ business; and that technology should be employed to enable customers to compare and access better deals from new providers.
The Roundtable will be an opportunity to hear the latest from the Trustee of Open Banking, Imran Gulamhuseinwala, two weeks after the new services went live; and to raise any concerns about the potential for consumer detriment. You can register your interest here.
As one year has drawn to a close it is time to look forward to 2018 and our tips for the most important 5 regulatory changes for the FinTech industry in Australia.
- Increased access to bank data.
The Government has announced its intention to introduce an open banking regime in Australia under which customers will have the ability to give third parties such as FinTechs access to the customer’s banking data. Treasury is currently conducting a review into open banking models, with the report which was due at the end 2017 yet to be released.
Also planned to come in to effect by 1 July 2018 is mandatory comprehensive credit reporting which will give lenders access to deeper and richer sets of data on consumers to base their credit decisions on. Comprehensive credit reporting is currently voluntary.
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