lafgrp + pdf   138

US: Google and PayPal explored OCC’s fintech charter, then walked away [16JUN19]
QUOTE Many observers said that the first applicant is likely to be a smaller fintech that doesn’t have as many state licenses and doesn’t face the political headwinds that Google or PayPal would encounter.
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2 days ago by lafgrp
US: Capital One, Discover withholding credit for revolvers [11JUN19]
Per Fed QUOTE revolving consumer credit grew by 3.1% across the industry last year...its slowest increase since 2013....Capital One Chairman and CEO...said that his company has held back on the amount of credit it offers to customers who carry a balance on their card each month. He explained that decision by pointing to what he characterized as the late stage of the cycle.....Typically, the percentage of credit card customers who are delinquent on their bill falls between the fourth quarter of one year and the first quarter of the following year, as consumers use their tax refunds to pay down debt....But that trend did not hold last quarter
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7 days ago by lafgrp
Germany: Is Lufthansa an e-money issuer? [10JUN19]
QUOTE If the catalyst for the debacle is the transposition of PSD2 into German law, this poses a question about what other types of loyalty programmes, gift vouchers and points scheme might inadvertently fall into the category of e-money issuer as PSD2 is adopted more broadly....In the age of ICOs and cryptocurrency issuance, these details matter a lot in terms of regulatory implications. The long and short of it is, if you're issuing cash-like liabilities you have to be regulated as a bank or e-money issuer/ transmitter. And that adds a whole lot of complexity to your business model. In that context, even if it was to change its practices from now on, Lufthansa is still exposed to legacy regulatory risk for having issued money-like e-currency all this time. Or at least one would think.
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8 days ago by lafgrp
Australia: Citi's plan to dodge Apple, Afterpay in gloomy credit card market [10JUN19]
QUOTE The value of credit card debt accruing interest in Australia has been sliding in recent years, to about $32 billion. Borrowers are paying off their balances on time and have embraced debit cards and alternatives such as buy now pay later [BNPL] service Afterpay. Alongside tighter regulation of credit limits, these changes have made credit cards less lucrative for banks.....[Citi] has 12 to 13 per cent of the domestic market, including via partnerships with Bank of Queensland's Virgin Money, Coles and Qantas. While consumers have grown more reluctant to rack up debt on plastic in recent years, [exec] said there was strong demand for a product that allowed borrowers to convert credit card purchases into an instalment plan, with repayments made at a lower interest rate, and over a set term. Citi says use of this option has increased six-fold in the last year, albeit from a low base
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9 days ago by lafgrp
Global: Blockchain's appeal limited for retail banks, but gains a draw [7JUN19]
QUOTE McKinsey estimates that $4bn a year could be saved by applying blockchain technology to cross-border payments, with a further $1 billion saved annually in operating costs associated with on-boarding clients....could also reduce annual losses from fraud by as much as $9 bn. [There is also] the thorny problem of creating a trusted digital identity in a decentralized network, something performed in the legacy financial system by centralized parties like Equifax. To encourage broader retail bank adoption exchanging dollars or euros for digital assets should be made easier “so that customers do not risk losses as they switch back and forth,” and a clearer regulatory picture would also help
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12 days ago by lafgrp
Europe: e-commerce industry hopes for grace period for SCA [4JUN19]
Patrick Collison QUOTE The deadline is hurtling towards us in September and for those who aren’t prepared it is going to have a huge negative effect on conversion rates. It's going to require basically every European merchant to fundamentally restructure their checkout flow. It's almost certainly the largest migration that European online retailers have ever had to do.”

QUOTE Stripe and Worldpay are hoping to sell new services to retailers that help ease the transition. But as Stripe takes a portion of each transaction, it could also lose out if online commerce volumes take a hit.
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15 days ago by lafgrp
Singapore: UOB, Mastercard launch business cr card for SME execs [28MAY19]
QUOTE According to polls conducted by Mastercard and UOB, travel and entertainment top the list of business spend for the majority, or close to 70 per cent, of respondents. In addition, three in four SME senior executives surveyed said that they travel up to twice every quarter, spending an average of $4,800 a month on business-related travel. Respondents also said they spent an average of $2,300 per month on business entertainment, including golf sessions and meals with clients. Given these insights, the UOB Regal Business Metal Card was designed to offer "travel privileges typically not available with commercial credit cards", the companies said. The card offers business executives unlimited access to airport lounges, and complimentary access to 60 golf clubs worldwide
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21 days ago by lafgrp
Singapore: How incumbent banks are preparing for competition, with help from regulator [2MAY19]
Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS' chief fintech officer QUOTE We decided to upgrade the ability of the existing players [via demands for core system upgrades, Cloud computing (DBS now 80% cloud) and fintech-style services such as P2P] and equip them so they can better compete in the market. As a public policymaker, we are working with banks to rationalise their costs, and create a level playing field for them to compete with non-regulated entities.”
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21 days ago by lafgrp
US: Takeaways from the Global Payments-TSYS merger [28MAY19]
QUOTE Payment processing as a standalone industry is already gone, as the FIS-Worldpay and Fiserv-First Data deals [also] attest. While these companies are quick to tout massive scale, they still have holes that keep them from serving their markets.

And they remain threatened by outside innovators.
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21 days ago by lafgrp
SE Asia: The Race for 650 million virtual bank accounts [26MAY19]
Building on Hong Kong's online banking licences, QUOTE Singapore’s welcoming regulatory environment makes the city-state an obvious entry point to Southeast Asia....[Challenges include customer trust and capital:] Hong Kong is setting the same capital requirements for online-only banks as their bricks-and-mortar rivals – something Singapore is likely to replicate. Then there’s liquidity. [DBS] which started a mobile-only digital bank in India in 2016, claims to be targeting SMEs with data-driven lending. It’s unclear if the deposit base required for a meaningful operation can come entirely from online-only customers. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam – in addition to China and India – 46% of consumers flatly refused to move any of their money to a bank without branches, according to the 2017 McKinsey survey....[However, Chinese tech giants have immense resources, eg] about 60% of Cit­igroup’s consumer credit cards in Asia are now paid via Ant’s Alipay
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23 days ago by lafgrp
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland: Nordic e-commerce 2018 report
QUOTE Even though the Nordic countries resemble each other, there are also differences. In Denmark and Norway credit card is the most used payment method. By far. Credit card is also popular in Sweden, but the Swedes also enjoy other payment methods such as invoice. More than 25 percent of Swedes consider invoice as their favourite payment method. Invoice is by no means that popular in any of the other Nordic countries. The Finnish consumers have a totally different favourite payment method: They prefer online banking
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5 weeks ago by lafgrp
US, UK, Ireland: WhatsApp push into payments with workforce expansion [7MAY19]
QUOTE The app, which has 1.5bn users globally, will expand its workforce by a quarter with the hiring of about 100 people. Most of the software engineers will be hired in London with additional operations staff hired in Dublin....New staff will build a payments function as well as products that focus on safety and spam on the app."

RL COMMENT While Messenger, Facebook and Instagram are already bursting at the seams with advertising and sponsored content, WhatsApp remains ad free and encrypted, and it's not a stretch to imagine that WhatsApp privacy and encryption might sit well with payments. But what will people send as value? Will it be a Zuckerberg Coin? What's the alternative?
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
Singapore: DBS unfazed by virtual bank licences [5MAY19]
DBS CEO QUOTE These banks are using a slightly different model and if you’ve already been transforming yourself then it is not very different from the models that the traditional banks use, assuming you’ve been changing yourself. The real challenge is if the regulators create an unlevel playing field and they let the new bank licensees come in and do banking on different terms: lower capital, no same rules, less liquidity: that could be problematic.

NOTES Global environ improv in Q1 b/c A: China fiscal monetary stimulus in place; B: China/US trade talks; C: Monetary policy easing globally. Disruption risk job displacement an issue 1200 jobs needing retraining since 2016: 900 now in new roles. 30-60% employees is standard estimated range of displaced jobs. But headcount growing as analytics griws and psychologists, designers, ethnologists join; we also take small stakes in companies of interest that fit that strategy (eg, Kasisto)
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
US: Banks hold on to riskier credit-card loans amid higher losses [6MAY19]
QUOTE While card losses are growing, they’re still near post-crisis lows and haven’t crimped strong profits in banks’ consumer lending divisions. Part of the deterioration can be explained by a surge of lending in the space, as many banks have prioritized growing their credit card businesses, which can generate the highest interest rates of any form of consumer debt, over other areas like auto lending.
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
Singapore: E-commerce in Asia: Bracing for Digital Disruption - DBS [3NOV15]
QUOTE Asian retailers may be in store for more threats from e-commerce. Higher digital disruption in China than ASEAN; tier 3-5 Chinese cities to face more heat. Retail segments that could see tough competition from e-commerce include cosmetics, home appliances. But retailers selling lifestyle and luxury products may be more resilient
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
Africa: Jumia’s rise exposes challenges of online shopping in Africa [5MAY19]
QUOTE e-commerce is unlikely to grow in step with rising mobile data penetration [as "issue of trust and payments"]
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
US: Fintechs' nationwide lending hope just hit a roadblock [3MAY19]
QUOTE New York’s banking regulators can proceed with their case to prevent fintech companies from acting like banks, a judge ruled Thursday. The regulators want to block the federal government [in shape of OCC] from giving fintech companies national licenses that would allow them to pay consumers’ checks and lend them money. Online lending from the “fintech” sector is booming — prompting a legal duel between state and federal banking regulators on whose rules the budding industry must follow.
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
UK: Checkout.com raises record $230m in Series A funding [2MAY19]
QUOTE Like Adyen, Checkout.com acts as a middleman between merchants and other payments companies, negotiating deals with businesses including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, PayPal and UnionPay. It has attracted customers including Deliveroo, TransferWise and Samsung, according to chief executive Guillaume Pousaz.
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
Canada: Blockchain adopted by banks to verify client identities [1MAY19]
QUOTE SecureKey Technologies’s Verified.Me [blockchain-based] digital identity system is now available for customers of five Canadian banks through a mobile app....The system works at Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Desjardins Group, and is coming soon to Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada.
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
UK: RBS returns to merchant acquiring [2MAY19]
Group will QUOTE launch NatWest Tyl, a new merchant acquiring service for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchant acquirers enable retailers to accept card payments in-store or online, charging them fees to connect to the networks operated by the likes of Visa and Mastercard. EU regulators forced RBS to sell its payments business, which was renamed Worldpay, as a condition of its taxpayer bailout of almost £50bn during the financial crisis. The payments sector has since been transformed, with companies such as Worldpay among the big beneficiaries of the broad shift away from cash.
` ` Expectations that the payments business will sustain its explosive growth has driven a wave of dealmaking in the sector, with 2019 already on track to be a third straight year of record M&A volumes. In March Worldpay, which had already combined with US peer Vantiv in 2018, agreed to be bought by Florida’s Fidelity National Information Services in a deal that valued it at $43bn — close to the market capitalisation of RBS.
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6 weeks ago by lafgrp
Singapore: Police raid Wirecard office [8FEB19]
QUOTE A probe into the group’s Singapore operations would be led by the city state’s police, given that Wirecard is not regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s de facto central bank. Under current regulation, Wirecard requires no licence to operate in the jurisdiction.
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7 weeks ago by lafgrp
Germany/Asia: Executive at Wirecard suspected of using forged contracts [30JAN19]
QUOTE Internal presentation [leaked from Singapore office and not allegedly not acted upon by execs] pointed to possible ‘falsification of accounts’
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7 weeks ago by lafgrp
Germany: SoftBank bets $1bn on battered payments firm Wirecard [23APR19]
QUOTE For SoftBank, the agreement furthers its transformation from a telecommunications operator into a technology investor under founder Masayoshi Son. For Wirecard, the investment means easier access to markets in Asia and a vote of confidence after months of whipsawing shares following allegations of accounting misdeeds at its Singapore unit.
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8 weeks ago by lafgrp
India: Banks are dragging down country's economy [21APR19]
QUOT Even though bank credit growth has accelerated in the past few months, aggregate credit growth is still far too weak. A reluctance to privatize the financial system is to blame....The hope [had] been to slow the growth of state-owned banks and allow privately owned rivals to gain market share. In another 15 or 20 years, the theory goes, the sector would effectively have been privatized. A similar strategy worked for the telecom and airlines sector, after all. The problem is that state banks continue to have a very large role in the economy. As they slow, they drag down the economy, too; private-sector banks [and shadow banking] simply can’t grow fast enough to make up the difference....
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8 weeks ago by lafgrp
Europe: PSD2's Strong Customer Authentication changes the game in mid-September [29MAR19]
After 14SEP19 QUOTE every online transaction that passes through the EEA must have SCA [ie, 2 of something only the user knows/possesses/is] tied to it....if a merchant cannot authenticate or exempt...issuers [may] just decline the transaction.

[Notably] card on file payments....will [require] more information to complete traditional card payments online. [However, there are exemptions:]

- If the issuer is [non-EEA; “One leg out”] and the acquirer is in the [EEA; or vice versa]
- Merchant-initiated transactions (MIT) [ie] situations when merchants are making a payment on behalf of the customer (eg, subscription payments)
- MOTO [Mail Order / Telephone Order] transactions excluded because it’s currently very difficult to use two factor authentication
- Low-risk transactions. Your PSP can do a risk check on your transactions in real time. If the risk score is low, and if your PSP is below certain fraud rates, you can use a low-risk exemption. As long as the issuer agrees the card holder should not see a challenge to authenticate themselves.This exemption can only be used for transactions with a maximum value of €500.
- Low-value transactions. Any transaction below €30 can receive a low value exemption and go through without SCA. However, there is a velocity limit of five consecutive transactions, or a cumulative limit of €100. After these limits have been reached SCA is required again.
- Whitelisting. After the first SCA verified purchase, a consumer can whitelist a merchant so that subsequent transactions do not require SCA. Merchants need to implement 3DS2.2 in order to fully turn on whitelisting functionality.
- Corporate payments. Corporate cards that are not in the cardholder’s name and virtual credit cards are exempt from SCA.
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8 weeks ago by lafgrp
US: Credit card providers fight to stay top of your wallet [22DEC16]
But QUOTE while the bank issuers have all at least doubled their rewards expenses in the past six years, Amex’s payouts have grown only 36 per cent. When it comes to premium customers, the company may be paying out less than half the rewards of its rivals. It will have to be more generous

QUOTE comparison websites should not take all the credit for the rewards war. Perhaps the biggest factor is the regulatory changes wrought in the US by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. While more esoteric forms of lending and market activity have been penalised, big banks have found that standard credit card lending to consumers is more lucrative, hence the dash to grab market share.

[Visa Mastercard Chase Sapphire Reserve Citi BofA Discover]

Also reader comment to European reader merchant QUOTE make sure that your merchant fee is expressed in terms of interchange plus a margin for your acquiring bank. It it isn't you will have to renegotiate the deal with your acquirer. This is the trick that the European Commission have missed in all this - namely that small merchants won't necessarily get the benefit of the reduction in interchange fees if they are on a fixed % deal from their acquirer.
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9 weeks ago by lafgrp
Singapore: Credit card issuers dangle more carrots to win customers [8JUL16]
QUOTE American Express (Amex) and CapitaLand Mall Asia - the shopping mall business of developer CapitaLand - announced a new co-brand card yesterday, the same day DBS Bank released a new version of its Insignia Visa Infinite card for the well-heeled. United Overseas Bank (UOB) also recently revamped its suite of cards catering to women. Besides more perks, the bank introduced a new UOB Lady's debit card on June 29.And in early May, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Amex updated their co-branded credit cards, with faster ways to earn and redeem KrisFlyer - SIA's frequent flier programme - rewards.
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9 weeks ago by lafgrp
Asia, Europe, Africa: How e-wallet payments are surging [29MAR19]
QUOTE Countries with the highest e-wallet usage, 2017:

China: 36% 
India: 6% 
UAE: 6% 
UK: 5% 
Germ: 5% 
Indon: 5% 
S Afr:  5% 
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10 weeks ago by lafgrp
SE Asia Visa study: rise of the digitally engaged consumer [AUG17]
Findings of fourth annual Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey of 2,400 consumers in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. E-commerce, mobile banking, alternative payments, cash and cashless trends.
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11 weeks ago by lafgrp
FIS’s Worldpay Deal Ratchets Up Race for Payments Companies M&A
QUOTE Industrywide revenue is projected to surge to $2.4 trillion by 2027, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group and Swift. FIS’s Worldpay purchase “reinforces the transformational and disruptive impact that e-commerce is having on payments,” Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, said via email. “In-store payments are very local and difficult to scale, whereas e-commerce has significant benefits to scale, and is very global.” FIS, which focuses on the software behind payments for retail and banking, will assume Worldpay’s debt, bringing the enterprise value of the deal to about $43 billion, the companies said Monday.


QUOTE “The transaction essentially expands FIS’s capabilities by enhancing its acquiring and payments offerings while increasing WP’s distribution footprint, and accelerating its entry into new geographies,” Moshe Katri, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a note to clients. The largest payments firms, such as Worldpay, Chase Paymentech and First Data, each handle about $1 trillion annually. Fast-growing Dutch rival Adyen NV is expanding by offering to handle transfers in more currencies and payment types than its competitors. Monday’s deal, when completed, will make the combined company the biggest in the processing and payments industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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march 2019 by lafgrp
Facebook and Telegram Are Hoping to Succeed Where Bitcoin Failed
QUOTE by introducing mainstream consumers to the alternative world of digital coins. The internet outfits, including Facebook, Telegram and Signal, are planning to roll out new cryptocurrencies over the next year that are meant to allow users to send money to contacts on their messaging systems, like a Venmo or PayPal that can move across international borders. The most anticipated but secretive project is underway at Facebook. The company is working on a coin that users of WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, could send to friends and family instantly
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march 2019 by lafgrp
World Bank - Global Findex database
QUOTE The Global Findex database is the world’s most comprehensive data set on how adults save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. Launched with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the database has been published every three years since 2011. The data are collected in partnership with Gallup, Inc., through nationally representative surveys of more than 150,000 adults in over 140 economies. The 2017 edition includes updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services. And it adds new data on the use of financial technology (fintech), including the use of mobile phones and the internet to conduct financial transactions.
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february 2019 by lafgrp
Purchases With Plastic Get Costlier for Merchants—and Consumers
QUOTE Visa and Mastercard plan to raise fees on credit and debit cards, putting new strain on retail
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february 2019 by lafgrp
Goldman Sachs on the World Cup and Economics [PDF]
QUOTE We find a positive relation between output per worker in a given country and the proportion of matches won in all World Cup editions for the respective national squad. The conspicuous exception is Brazil
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june 2018 by lafgrp
US: Walmart, Visa Resume Lobbying Battle Over Credit-Card Rules
QUOTE launch marks another flash point in a drawn-out clash in Washington over swipe fees, which banks collect from retailers every time a consumer uses a credit card. As more consumers shop online and via mobile phones, retailers and financial firms have battled over who should be in control of new technologies and systems to thwart fraud. With each new system -- whether it’s an online checkout button, chip cards or Apple Pay -- every company involved in transactions must adopt new systems and standards. Currently, several councils run by the card networks make those decisions.
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june 2018 by lafgrp
Nebulasis building a Google for the blockchain world
QUOTE Combined, [Nebulas'] technologies...incentivize developers to create useful dapps that gain traction and make the entire blockchain ecosystem more useful. [Those key technologies are:]

-Nebulas Force ["programmers can tweak the blockchain’s core protocols without affecting the entire network": ie, without forking],

-Nebulas Rank [Google-like "ranks users and dapps based on how active they are on a network"], and

-Proof of Devotion ["gives developers on a blockchain with high NR scores the right to verify transactions and earn rewards"]
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june 2018 by lafgrp
Fed Floats Changes to Volcker Rule on Big Bank Trading Restrictions
QUOTE Many observers say financial markets aren’t functioning as well because big banks are nervous that certain positions may violate the Volcker rule. At the same time, many big banks have cut back on trading businesses in search of more stable revenue sources.
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june 2018 by lafgrp
Has Amex found a data gold mine with its rewards blockchain?
QUOTE lets merchants for the first time offer Amex rewards on their own channels, such as websites and apps, rather than through the card company’s channels. But the real value of the company’s blockchain may be the purchase data it will record.
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may 2018 by lafgrp
JPMorgan Chase rushes to turn into Amazon before Amazon turns into bank
QUOTE fears over the growing global reach of Chinese internet banking may someday induce Washington to loosen its regulatory shackles on Amazon. After all, Glass-Steagall legislation — separating commercial and investment banking — was repealed in 1999 when U.S. banks convinced Congress that they risked losing market share to European rivals that didn’t face similar regulatory constraints. Even if regulations remain in place, the accumulation of financial services [eg, Amazon Cash/Amazon Lending] could transform Amazon into a banking juggernaut far sooner than many experts suspect.
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may 2018 by lafgrp
US Congress to roll back post-crisis financial rules as banks post record profits
Industry just recorded $56 billion in quarterly profits, marking an almost 28 percent increase year-on-year. James Chessen, chief economist for the American Bankers Association, said that the results prove that the banking industry is "exceptionally healthy". However, some will be wary of the Congressional decision to pass a bill that will reduce red tape for banks if signed into law by President Trump (which he almost certainly will).
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may 2018 by lafgrp
I Tried to Get an AI to Write This Story
Paul Ford QUOTE asking Silicon Valley to pause for reflection is like asking a puppy to drop its squeaky toy
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Singapore: DBS takes on China's giants in fintech battle [14MAY18]
QUOTE From 2012 through 2016, DBS invested about $3.5 billion upgrading its technology, including the development of its mobile payments app, known as DBS PayLah!, which has about 800,000 users in Singapore. It even recruited some 1,000 part-timers to go around the country’s famous hawker centers, purveyors of cheap but delicious street food, to try to get them to shun cash and go digital. [To emulate Tencent and Ant Financial, now becoming threats], DBS on [8MAY18] launched a digital adviser called “Your Financial GPS," now available to more than 2.5 million customers with the bank’s app. The service analyzes a customer’s bank account activity, categorizes expenses and offers tailored financial advice based on the individual’s budgets and financial goals. “It is a sensible product in the sense that banks would be well placed to integrate themselves into customers’ daily lives beyond banking, to the extent possible, and DBS isn’t the only bank hoping to do this,” said [analyst]. As customers use less cash and turn to digital banking, the number of DBS branches in Singapore could come down by about 10 percent over the next five years, Gupta said.
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Santander to launch stand-alone UK digital bank
QUOTE it is understood it will offer a range of services beyond traditional lending, including help with payrolls and pensions. It comes as smaller banks jockey for an £833m fund carved out of RBS to boost competition in business banking. Santander has controversially been allowed to bid for it, despite being several times larger than the next nearest challengers TSB and CYBG.
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Airlines to launch payments system to rival credit card groups
QUOTE: The new system for web-based ticket sales to individual passengers, which does not have a brand name yet, is scheduled to be rolled out across Europe from the end of 2018, with Germany as the first market."

DH QUOTE First significant PSD2 implementation?
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Amazon Offers Retailers Discounts to Adopt Payment System
QUOTE Move shows retailer is willing to sacrifice to grow Amazon Pay. It’s another challenge to PayPal, big banks and card networks
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Fintech Charter: Timeline of OCC v CSBS
QUOTE States were too quick on the draw suing OCC over FinTech charters
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may 2018 by lafgrp
Santander strikes debit card deal with MasterCard
QUOTE: Santander will become the first of the UK’s ‘big five’ high street banks to issue debit cards through MasterCard from next year, marking a major step in the payments group’s efforts to fight Visa’s dominance in the sector.

Santander UK, which has more than 9m debit cards in issue — almost 10 per cent of the UK total — will begin moving customers to MasterCard as their existing cards expire from the first quarter of 2019."
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may 2018 by lafgrp
US: Zelle proves vulnerable to fraud
QUOTE While all financial systems are susceptible to fraud, aspects of Zelle’s design, like not always notifying customers when money is transferred — some banks do; others don’t — have contributed to the system’s vulnerability
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april 2018 by lafgrp
One button: Visa, Mastercard Talk About Cooperating in Online Shopping
QUOTE rethink in strategy is a further sign of how difficult the digital-payments realm has become and shows the companies are looking for new ways to compete for online customers’ attention against PayPal...and other payment firms.
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april 2018 by lafgrp
Amex accelerates fightback against bank credit cards
QUOTE Results reveal push to lure customers with more generous rewards and increased lending
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april 2018 by lafgrp
Amex turning from fees to balances for revenue [11MAR18]
QUOTE About 1.3m fewer locations in the US allow consumers to pay with Amex than Visa and MasterCard, mainly because it takes a bigger cut of customer payments. The gap is even wider overseas. Meanwhile, authorities from Europe to Australia have taken a tougher line on card charges. In the US, the Supreme Court is considering an antitrust complaint. The company denies its practices breach antitrust rules.

QUOTE American Express has long operated a different model to [issuers]. It is more reliant on merchant fees while banks collect more from interest on customer balances.However, Mr Squeri made clear that he planned to do more lending. Interest generated almost a fifth of the group’s $33.5bn revenues in 2017. “More places for our card members to use our products means more revenues — from both spending and lending,” he said.

Also QUOTE American Express said it was already shrinking the coverage gap with other networks. About 1.5m more places in the US started accepting its cards last year.
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march 2018 by lafgrp
The Economist: Why Driverless Cars Will Mostly Be Shared, Not Owned
QUOTE At the moment, travelling by Uber or another ride-hailing service costs around $2.50 a mile; but take away the driver, and that cost could fall to $0.70 a mile, reckon analysts at UBS. That is less than the $1.20 a mile it costs, on average, to run a private car (when fuel, insurance, servicing and other costs are factored in). So if robotaxis really work as advertised, many urbanites could ditch their cars and save thousands of dollars a year. UBS predicts that by 2035, 80% of people will use robotaxis in cities where they are available, and that urban car ownership will fall by 70%.
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march 2018 by lafgrp
Overdue US credit card debt hits seven-year high: $11.9bn
Bank bosses have shrugged off the losses, according to the FT. Indeed, card profits have been spectacular in recent years. But "now it's time to pay the piper," said David Rosenberg of wealth managers Gluskin Sheff. Indeed attitudes towards credit cards may be changing. A survey by bankrate.com suggests that Millennials are less than enamoured with credit cards, with two out of three in that cohort surviving just fine without one: after all, they are already carrying a historically high debt burden with college tuition loans.
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march 2018 by lafgrp
Luce - Where is the Tea Party when you need it?
QUOTE Trump’s Republicans are thus tempting fate on three fronts. First, they are goading the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than it otherwise would. The market is already pricing in three rises this year. That will look conservative if Mr Trump’s tax and spending stimulus leads to signs of overheating. [2: "Fed’s scope to bail out the economy is limited"; 3: "dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency" endangered ]
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february 2018 by lafgrp
Social media users of the world unite!
QUOTE If Plato were alive today, he might well regard much of the work we do as leisure, and much of the leisure we enjoy as work. Those extravagantly paid Davosian chief executives who jet around the world discussing the great issues of the day are in fact indulging in an endless swirl of symposia. But Plato would probably look askance at others who enjoy fishing, gardening and cooking, and view those activities as laborious occupations. So argued the Czech philosopher Tomas Sedlacek at a recent Financial Times conference
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february 2018 by lafgrp
Where is digital identity taking us?
QUOTE driven by greed — but the mania for cryptocurrency could wind up building something much more important than wealth
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january 2018 by lafgrp
Open banking reform reaches Hong Kong
However QUOTE “We don’t envisage a scenario where Hong Kong moves towards the mandatory open banking regime of the UK/ Europe,” says James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific fintech leader at EY. “Australia is the only country in Asia-Pacific likely to implement something comparable, at least in the near-term.”
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january 2018 by lafgrp
Big German banks muscle in on retail
There's an interesting longread in today's Financial Times about how big German banks such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, at the expense of local savings banks, are using retail banking to offset suffering revenue streams. With savings banks and cooperatives seeing a constant decline in branch numbers around the country, the big players are stepping up their game, investing not only in digitalisation but also in ways to attract new business. "We win quite a few new customers who just walk by our branch, are struck by the design and then come in to have a chat", said Marc Ernesti, Commerzbank's director for the Bonn Region, where a €1 million ($1.2 million) face-lift of its flagship branch recently took place.
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january 2018 by lafgrp
China’s Unfair and Dangerous E-Payments Policy
QUOTE Regulatory guidelines allowing American companies to begin the licensing process suggest the Chinese do not intend to permit “full and prompt market access” any time soon. American companies may submit an application for a license, but they cannot begin operating in the Chinese market. Furthermore, companies such as Visa and Mastercard will be forced to build new data centers in China. All these companies’ data processing for the Chinese marketplace must be performed on the Chinese mainland. Compliance with such onerous regulatory demands will result in a huge increase in Visa and Mastercard’s annual overheads [plus big security worries about Beijing's use of the data].
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january 2018 by lafgrp
Move to ease EU banks’ capital rules to boost green investment
With banks aiming to invest as much as an extra $180bn in clean energy every year over the next couple of decades, plans are afoot to see Brussels linking the capital requirements for EU financial institutions to environmentally beneficial investments. Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice-president of the European Commission in charge of financial regulation, told the Financial Times that he was "looking positively" at the idea. Ever since President Trump opted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the onus has increased on EU banks to make effective climate change decisions. "There is a broad support for Europe to lead on this implementation of the Paris agreement, and this will be an important part of this", said Mr Dombrovskis.
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january 2018 by lafgrp
Europe’s bank bosses see need for consolidation in sector
QUOTE just as in any industry with too much capacity, too much cost, and too little profit, rational economics will prevail,” ZEB concluded in its report, seen by the FT. “Takeovers and mergers will sweep away the weakest players until a better equilibrium is achieved.”
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january 2018 by lafgrp
Barnier on the UK’s Brexit position
Barnier QUOTE They have to realise there won’t be any cherry picking. We won’t mix up the various scenarios to create a specific one and accommodate their wishes, mixing, for instance, the advantages of the Norwegian model, member of the single market, with the simple requirements of the Canadian one. No way. They have to face the consequences of their own decision.”
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Bruce Bartlett round up of academic/expert findings on financialisation as a cause of economic malaise
QUOTE Economists are still searching for answers to the slow growth of the United States economy. Some are now focusing on the issue of “financialization,” the growth of the financial sector as a share of gross domestic product. Financialization is also an important factor in the growth of income inequality, which is also a culprit in slow growth. Recent research is improving our knowledge of financialization
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december 2017 by lafgrp
UK: Open Banking deadline extensions for five firms
CMA has given extra time to a handful of banks to comply with Open Banking requirements to publish APIs for third parties to use. However, following admissions from Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Bank of Ireland that they would not be ready in time for the January 13 deadline, an extended timeline has been laid out for them, ranging from a few weeks (Barclays, HSBC and RBS) to several months (Bank of Ireland). According to the FT, Santander's Cater Allen private banking unit will be granted an extra year to comply.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Empire of luxury e-commerce is growing [6DEC17]
QUOTE Online luxury sales jumped by 24 percent in 2017, according to a recent study by the consulting firm Bain & Co., with the authors estimating that online sales of personal luxury goods will make up 25 percent of the market by 2025.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Amazon as brand umbrella [6DEC17]
Consultant Scoot Wingo QUOTE There is this erosion of what it means to be a traditional consumer product brand...In a way, Amazon is providing all this information that replaces what you’d normally get from a brand, like reputation and trust. Amazon is becoming something like the umbrella brand, the only brand that matters.”
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december 2017 by lafgrp
US lifts threat of prosecution against HSBC
QUOTE DoJ dismisses deferred criminal charges hanging over bank since breaches 5 years ago
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Single market deal might halt London bank exits
The desire of banks to stay within the EU's collective market is strong, according to the Financial Times, with several influential bankers maintaining that they are holding out hope for a last-minute miracle. However, there is also plenty of sentiment to the contrary — that when the first quarter of 2018 comes into focus, there will be no more time for back-tracking or counter moves; making changes then would be too messy for many of the institutions that had farmed out employees to the continent and elsewhere. "The first quarter of next year (is)...the emotional point by which you've gone so far that I think it's very difficult to go on a reverse journey", one executive said.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Martin Schulz calls for ‘United States of Europe’
QUOTE German SPD leader says EU member states must sign up to a federal union or leave the bloc
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december 2017 by lafgrp
UK reaches historic Brexit divorce deal
QUOTE the agreement appears to commit the UK to keeping Northern Ireland’s regulatory regime in “full alignment” with EU law, saying that “in the absence of agreed solutions” on a post-Brexit trade regime, London was committed an “all-island economy” — including having Northern Ireland abide by rules of the EU’s single market and customs union.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
New Basel rules on capital hit European banks
QUOTE While formally the package is a tightening up of the Basel III rules on bank capital, bankers have dubbed it Basel IV because of what they see as its stringent requirements.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Europe's banks look to boot out PayPal
QUOTE The heads of several large European banks have told the Financial Times that they are in talks about jointly setting up a cross-border instant payments service. The details are sketchy so far and the talks may not be very advanced.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Sir Paul Tucker warns of complacency on bank risks
Ex-BoE Dep Gov QUOTE current regulatory framework drawn up by the Basel Committee of financial regulators “did not take into account of the likelihood of having almost zero growth in productivity and very low interest rates.” He added: “That points to banks carrying more capital, not less capital.”

“I want to lean against this perception that ‘we’re done and it is now all about implementation’,” he said. “I lament the extent to which the debate about deregulation has shifted into this idea that maybe the financial system doesn’t need to be as resilient as we have made it.”
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Corbyn lashes out at financial sector ‘speculators and gamblers’
"Bankers like Morgan Stanley should not run our country, but they think they do," he told the Financial Times, adding that the financial sector was full of "speculators and gamblers who crashed our economy." His comments follow a Morgan Stanley report which labelled a Corbyn government "a bigger risk than Brexit" to the economy.
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december 2017 by lafgrp
Ignorance of Irish history means Brexit talks will not end well
QUOTE British politicians should know Varadkar has no option other than the line he is taking
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november 2017 by lafgrp
After Brexit, the UK’s old-fashioned economy will lose its clout
QUOTE there will be no such thing as single market access for financial services. And yes, there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It will be the external border of the EU and the customs union.
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november 2017 by lafgrp
Inside AI's First Church: Way of the Future
QUOTE activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.”
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november 2017 by lafgrp
UBS chairman: Central banks should embrace digital currencies
Banks should be more open to embracing digital currencies — that's the view of the chairman of Swiss bank UBS. Axel Weber believes that banks risk being left behind unless they respond with more authority to the emerging trend of cryptocurrencies. "Whilst the official sector very often looks at the risks of these new means of payment, the private sector tends to look at the opportunities they offer", Mr Weber told the Financial Times. On the whole, digital currencies remain a fringe activity for the majority of global banks: one clear exception is Japan's J-Coin, fruit of a consortium spearheaded by Japan Post Bank and Mizuho Financial Group. As well as Japan, the Philippines and Switzerland have set out regulations for cryptocurrencies. But it may be that they become a matter for central banks more than private enterprise: China, the Netherlands and Sweden, to name but a few, are pondering the future of fiat and may well produce a digital currency alongside physical cash.
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november 2017 by lafgrp
UK spymasters raise suspicions over Kaspersky software’s Russia links
QUOTE GCHQ concerned by snooping potential of anti-virus product used by 2m Barclays clients
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november 2017 by lafgrp
Keep N Ireland in customs union, says EU
QUOTE avoidance of “regulatory divergence” on the island of Ireland is “essential” to protect the peace process.
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november 2017 by lafgrp
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