Included in this issue of InContact: UK cryptocurrency exchange startup launches debit card for spending bitcoin; US banks launch real-time payments system; and more...


FCA advises providers of account information services (AIS) and payment initiation services (PIS) to apply for authorisation under PSD2

The FCA has advised firms needing to be authorised or registered under the revised Directive on payment services in the internal market ((EU) 2015/2366) (PSD2) to apply to the FCA before 27 November 2017. Firms providing AIS or PIS will be regulated from 13 January 2018, when the majority of the provisions of PSD2 will be transposed in the UK. Without authorisation before this time, lack of registration or authorisation may mean firms have to stop carrying on regulated activities.

FCA, 16 November 2017

UK cryptocurrency exchange startup launches debit card for spending bitcoin

A UK startup is launching a cryptocurrency exchange that comes with a debit card that lets users spend their bitcoin anywhere in the country that accepts Visa. The London Block Exchange (LBX) will let retail and institutional investors buy and sell cryptocurrencies, beginning with bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Ripple, through a dedicated app. But the app will also be linked to a Visa 'Dragoncard' that will let users' convert their cryptocurrency to sterling at the point of sale, with LBX taking a 0.5% cut.

Telegraph, 15 November 2017

EPC updates interbank implementation guidelines for SEPA instant credit transfer scheme and credit transfer scheme

The European Payments Council (EPC) has published updated versions of its interbank implementation guidelines for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) instant credit transfer scheme (SCT Inst) and credit transfer scheme (SCT) and related webpages:

  • SCT Inst interbank implementation guidelines 2017: version 1.2: sets out the rules for implementing version 1.1 of the 2017 SCT Inst rulebook, based on the interbank credit transfer ISO 20022 XML message standards. A related webpage has also been issued.
  • SCT interbank implementation guidelines 2017: version 1.1 (EPC115-06): sets out the rules for implementing version 1.1 of the 2017 SCT rulebook, based on version 2009 of the interbank credit transfer ISO 20022 XML message standards. A related webpage has also been issued.

EPC, 14 November 2017

Digital receipt startup Flux lands deal with Barclays

Barclays has become the first of the high street incumbents to engage with Flux, a digital receipt startup that is gaining traction with the new wave of UK challenger banks. The upcoming trial with Barclays will take place with the estimated 10,000 users of the Barclays Launchpad app, the bank’s platform for testing new features with real customers to learn more about how best to meet their needs. Flux has also partnered with Barclaycard to explore enabling major retailers, such as EAT, to deliver digital receipts to their customers. The tests will see Barclaycard provide the ability for merchants, via integration through their point-of-sale devices, to issue digital receipts to any customer from a participating bank who is enrolled into the Flux service. If the trial prove successful, Flux - a graduate of Barclays' 2017 startup accelerator programme - will be rolled out to the five million customers using the Barclays Mobile Banking App.

City A.M. , 13 November 2017

BoE commences direct delivery of CHAPS service

The Bank of England (BoE) has published a press release announcing that it has commenced the direct delivery of the CHAPS service. The announcement follows publication of a blueprint from the BoE in May 2017 for a renewed real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service, where the BoE stated that it was working on a transition. Prior to November 2017, the CHAPS service was operated by the CHAPS Clearing Company Ltd, a private entity. The BoE has also published a new CHAPS webpage. CHAPS is a sterling same-day system that is used to settle high-value wholesale payments as well as time-critical, lower-value payments like buying or paying a deposit on a property.

BoE, 13 November 2017


Bank of America Merrill Lynch unveils Card Assistant

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has launched a digital tool that delivers information and education to commercial card clients. Aimed at programme administrators, Card Assistant provides industry and product updates, webcasts, fraud prevention tips, case studies and reference information in one place. Card Assistant comes on the heels of CashPro Assistant, another recently launched tool for commercial card clients, which uses AI and predictive analytic capabilities to help clients easily access and analyse their banking information.

Finextra, 15 November 2017

US banks launch real-time payments system

American bank-owned ACH The Clearing House (TCH) has launched its real-time payments system (RTP). The first payments system to be built in the US since the birth of the internet, RTP enables consumers and businesses to send and receive domestic payments in seconds, rather than days. BNY Mellon and US Bank carried out the first payment on the system, with several of TCH's 25 owners, including Citi, JP Morgan and SunTrust set to follow suit as early adopters. Open to all US depository institutions, the system is expected to be used by banks holding more than half of all deposits by the end of 2018 and to be "ubiquitous" by 2020. That platform was developed by Mastercard-owned Vocalink, which has helped build the THC system, ensuring that it not only supports fund transfers but the ability to both request payments and provide critical information.

Business Insider UK, 15 November 2017

Delegated Regulation on RTS on co-operation and exchange of information for passporting under PSD2 published in OJ

Commission Delegated Regulation ((EU) 2017/2055) supplementing the revised Payment Services Directive ((EU) 2015/2366) with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the co-operation and exchange of information between competent authorities relating to the exercise of the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services of payment institutions has been published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ).

OJ, 13 November 2017

Key Contacts

William James

William James

Partner, Commercial
London, UK

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