In Summary: Vixio Live's February Regulatory Roundup

Luke Baker, Jimmie Franklin, Prasad Thandapani


March 8, 2024

On the first Monday of every month, our Vixio experts gather to host an episode of our LinkedIn Live series, Vixio Live: Regulatory Roundup.

Using our Horizon Scanning tool, which captures every event indicative of regulatory change relevant to the payments industry, they break down the biggest regulatory changes that have happened during the previous month. In this blog, we highlight three of the key updates they discussed in the latest episode.

February: A Regulatory Roundup

February is often where we start to feel things start to steadily warm up in payments regulations, and this particular February of the year 2024, was no different, in total seeing 122 new regulatory updates our analysts deem to be relevant to the global payments industry. In terms of regulatory deadlines, we saw 65 in total, made up of 33 effective dates and 32 response deadlines. Let’s take a look at some of these, one region at a time, departing from the UK, via Europe, though the Middle East and Africa, onto the Asia-Pacific, and across to the Americas.

Behind the scenes: Our Vixio experts live on air for this month's Regulatory Roundup
1) Vixio's Senior Journalist, Jimmie Franklin, who covers UK / Europe, told us:

In the UK, the FCA delivered a speech on Consumer Duty, which highlighted the solid progress made by firms and the approaching July 31st deadline for closed products and services. It also urged firms to use a risk-based approach, prioritising areas of greatest risk of harm to consumers.

Touching on MiCA, in Feburary we saw Poland and Italy launch consultations regarding their implementation of MiCA at a national level, whilst Sweden proposed a bill providing supervisory and intervention powers to the FSA in regards to activities covered in the MiCA regulation.

In Malta, the MFSA published their responses to a recent consultation on the implementation of DORA for Maltese entities and clarifies many points around who is in scope and makes no bones about the fact that the date of applicability of DORA is most certainly January 2025. The Slovak ministry of finance also published a consultation on its implementation of DORA.

2) Vixio Analyst, Prasad Thandapani, who covers Africa/ME/APAC told us:

In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced major changes to its international money transfer rules on January 31, which it said aim to stabilise the currency. The new guidelines include:

  • A ban on banks and fintechs: The new guidelines prohibit banks and fintech companies from obtaining IMTO licences. They do not provide an explicit definition of fintechs and it is unclear how this applies to firms that already have licences. Fintechs will still be able to partner with IMTOs for remittance products.
  • Outbound transfer restrictions: The CBN has restricted the operations of IMTOs to inbound transfers, implying that they can no longer transfer funds out of Nigeria to other countries.
  • Removal of allowable limit on exchange rate: The CBN has also removed the allowable limit of -2.5 percent to +2.5 percent on the closing rate of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market for IMTO foreign exchange transactions. The applicable or reference exchange rate will now be the prevailing rate at the Nigerian foreign exchange market on a willing buyer, willing seller basis.
3) For the US, Vixio's Senior Business Development Manager (Payments), Luke Baker, told us:

Interesting developments out of Georgia (that’s the US State, not the Country). This goes back to 2012, where Georgia introduced a MALPB (Merchant acquirer limited purpose bank) charter, allowing payment processors to handle transactions on behalf of merchants without a bank partner if they join a payment network. But only one bank was approved and as it was unable to gain membership in the Visa or Mastercard networks to process card payments, no other applicant has filed for a charter since. However, Fiserv, the largest non-bank merchant acquirer in the US, has recently filed an application and indicated it may be able to join a payment network, which has made the industry stand up and take notice.

Want to know more?

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