“The two amendments proposed by the Commission in March 2018 to the Regulation on cross-border payments will reduce the cost of intra-EU payments within the entire EU and unify the single retail payments market. This will benefit in particular citizens and businesses from the non-euro area Member States by letting them have access to cheaper intra-EU euro payments. Transactions made in EU currencies other than the euro are not impacted by the revised Regulation; however, Member States are free to extend the rules to other currencies.”
Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis’ opening statement at the European Parliament Plenary debate on the Cross-border Payments Regulation, Strasbourg, 13 February 2019.
The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating financial volatility or cybercrime. To tackle these multi-disciplinary challenges, policy- and lawmakers in the European Union (EU) have adopted and announced several initiatives, for instance on intra-EU payment services, data protection, crowdfunding and regulatory sandboxes. This briefing outlines current and upcoming fintech-related laws at EU level. It follows on from a March 2017 EPRS briefing that focused, inter alia, on the evolution, scope and economic prospects of fintech.
Every year, hundreds of millions of people worldwide send or receive money through a money transfer system or by informal channels, generating some 500 billion dollars in remittances to developing countries, roughly three times the size of official global development aid. In a new report, the JRC gives an outlook into the latest trends of alternative channels for money transfer by migrants to home countries provided by companies operating on blockchain-based technologies.
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the American European Community Association, Brussels, 7 February 2019.
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the International Capital Markets Association’s European Repo and Collateral Council, Luxembourg, 31 January 2019.
Keynote speech by Benoît Cœuré, Chair of the CPMI and Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 14th BCBS-FSI high-level meeting for Africa on strengthening financial sector supervision and current regulatory priorities, Cape Town, 31 January 2019.
ENISA publishes today ‘Good practices in the implementation of regulatory technical standards’, a study on the implementation of the PSD2 in the 28 Member States of the European Union.
The European Commission has fined the card scheme Mastercard €570 566 000 for limiting the possibility for merchants to benefit from better conditions offered by banks established elsewhere in the Single Market, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
The paper focuses on how Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies verify that payments are final, ie irreversible once written into the blockchain. It points to the high costs of achieving such finality via “proof-of-work”. It then weighs the outlook for cryptocurrencies based on this kind of algorithm, and looks at possible future avenues for progress.