Latest Payments News: FCA Fines Three Money Transfer Firms For Breaking Competition Law and more

Kat Pilkington


December 4, 2023

Catch up on six of the stories our payments compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

FCA Fines Three Money Transfer Firms For Breaking Competition Law

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed fines on three money transfer firms after they admitted to fixing prices charged to consumers in Glasgow.

Dollar East (International Travel & Money Transfer) Ltd; Hafiz Bros Travel & Money Transfer Limited; and LCC Trans-Sending Limited (including its parent company, Small World Financial Services Group Limited), trading as Small World, have been fined a combined total of more than £150,000 for breaching competition law.   

The FCA found that, between February 18 and May 31 2017, the firms coordinated on certain exchange rates offered to customers in Glasgow for converting UK pounds into Pakistan rupees, when transferring money to Pakistan. 

They were also found to have fixed the transaction fee charged to customers when making certain money transfers from the UK to Pakistan via Small World’s services.  

“We saw evidence of these businesses operating as a cartel, working together to fix their prices and exchange rates on money transfers,” said Sheldon Mills, the FCA’s competition and consumers chief.

“This behaviour can lead to customers being ripped off, and it erodes public trust. We take this extremely seriously and will use our competition powers to protect consumers across the UK.”

UK Tech Firms Sign Up To Online Fraud Charter

Bigtech firms are due to sign up to the UK’s new Online Fraud Charter.

Signatories include Google, Facebook and Amazon, and firms that have signed up will have a six-month window to implement measures in the charter.

Requirements set out include firms needing to have a dedicated liaison who will respond to law enforcement requests, measures to detect and block fraudulent activity, and have a simple and quick route to report fraudulent activity.

Meanwhile, firms will also need to take action against fraudulent content and users straight away and deploy measures to protect people from fraudulent adverts.

The UK’s Joint Fraud Taskforce (JFT), chaired by the UK home office minister for security, will hold companies to account for delivering the actions.

Canada's 'Love-Hate Relationship' With Cash Continues, Survey Finds

A new survey by Payments Canada has found that use of cash is down but far from out, with Canadians sharply divided on the merits of going “cashless”.

From 2017 to 2022, cash payments fell almost 60 percent in volume. However, only half of Canadians believe the country will be fully “cashless” within ten years, while 55 percent say they have “no desire” to go cashless.

The survey found that almost a third of Canadians still use cash for day-to-day purchases, typically for small-value (less than C$20) items such as tips, taxis, restaurant bills and children’s pocket money.

Canadians were also divided on the issue of central bank digital currency (CBDC), with roughly even splits between those for and against the technology and those who are undecided.

Those who are anti-CBDC appear to have strong views on the topic. One in four Canadians said they would not use a CBDC if one was issued, and 63 percent said they would still continue to use cash.

In a hangover from the COVID-18 pandemic, one in four Canadians said they feel the need to “wash their hands” after handling cash.

Dojo Finance Launches In Ireland

Dojo, a trading name of Paymentsense Ireland Limited, has been granted an e-money licence (EMI) from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

The business, which provides in-person and digital payment solutions, has confirmed Ireland as its European headquarters.

In the UK market, Dojo has achieved significant growth in its customer base. It also reported revenue of €278m (£241m) in the 2023 fiscal year — a 48 percent increase over the previous year.

The fintech company serves more than 150,000 UK businesses and has ambitions to replicate its success in supporting small business growth in the UK across Ireland and the EU.

Volt Launches Instant Payment Solution In Australia Using PayTo

UK fintech Volt has announced its launch in Australia as an instant payments provider using the PayTo addressing system.

With a network of more than 5,000 banks, Volt said the Australia launch represents a “significant milestone” for the company and for the account-to-account (A2A) payments industry.

Volt’s gateway will be integrated with PayTo, a bank-owned platform that enables consumers to authorise and control payments directly from their bank account.

The first merchant in Australia to integrate Volt’s technology will be ticketing platform Megatix, where customers will now see "Instant Bank Transfer" as a payment option at checkout.

Volt’s Australia launch follows a $60m Series B funding round and previous expansions in the EU, South America in 2021 and now APAC.

Worldline Secures Future UK Market Presence Following FCA Authorisation

Worldline has announced that it has been granted payment institution authorisation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This means that it can continue its operations in the UK after the FCA's Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) expires later this year.

“Worldline is committed to playing an important role in the post-Brexit payments landscape of the UK,” said Lee Jones, CEO of Worldline Merchant Services UK.

“I am proud that we have been granted our new licence, which guarantees an even stronger presence in the UK market.

"Paramount for our local service scope and excellence, it sets us apart from many international competitors by bolstering our presence and enhancing our service capabilities, while providing more choice for UK merchants."

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