Daily Dash: New SEPA RTP Rulebook Published

June 2, 2023
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The European Payments Council has published an updated version of the Request-to-Pay (RTP) rulebook, a German bank has been fined for breaching GDPR rules, EU leaders have signed MiCA into law, and a US consumer watchdog has fined an instalment lender $10m.

European Payments Council Publishes Latest RTP Rulebook

The European Payments Council (EPC) has published a new version of the SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme rulebook and a rulebook clarification paper.

Version 3.1 of the scheme rulebook includes clarifications about the use of market APIs to ensure interoperability between SRTP scheme participants and two additional datasets related to the redirect option.

These clarifications are supported by new Implementation Guidelines that were published on March 3, 2023.

The effective date of version 3.1 of the scheme rulebook remains November 30 this year.

The clarification paper, meanwhile, aims to provide guidance and, where feasible, make recommendations to future SRTP scheme participants. 

German Bank Hit By GDPR Fine Over Credit Card Application

The Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BlnBDI) has imposed a €300,000 fine on a bank for lack of transparency in an automated individual decision.

According to the regulator, the bank had refused to provide a customer with comprehensible information about the reasons for the automated rejection of a credit card application. 

"When companies make automated decisions, they are obliged to justify them in a valid and comprehensible manner,” said Meike Kamp, Berlin commissioner for data protection and freedom of information.  

“Those affected must be able to understand the automated decision,” said Kamp. 

According to Kamp, banks are obliged to inform customers of the main reasons for a rejection when making an automated decision about a credit card application. 

This includes specific information on the database and the decision-making factors and the criteria for rejection in individual cases.

EU’s MiCA Signed Into Law

The EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation has been officially signed into law by European Parliament president Roberta Metsola and Swedish rural affairs minister Peter Kullgren (Sweden currently holds the presidency of the European Council). 

MiCA will now be published in the EU's Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days later. Firms will need to be in full compliance with the regulation after an 18-month transitional period. 

However, rules that apply to stablecoins will come into effect after a transitional period of 12 months, meaning that they could take effect from mid-2024.

US Instalment Lender Ordered To Pay $20m For Breaching Law

The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered instalment lender OneMain Financial to pay a $10m penalty and an additional $10m in redress to consumers for unfair practices.

The agency ruled that OneMain had tricked consumers into signing up for optional add-on products when they applied for loans.

Some employees added the products to paperwork without verbally informing the consumer that the products were included or optional, the CFPB found. 

The regulator added that in cases where the consumer identified the products and asked for their removal, employees were expected to make it seem difficult to remove the products.

Under OneMain’s policies, consumers were entitled to receive full refund on add-ons if they cancelled within a certain time.

However, the CFPB found that over the past four years, OneMain charged approximately $10m in interest due to add-ons cancelled within its purported “full refund period”.

OneMain’s management said it “is pleased to resolve this matter”, even though they “do not agree with the CFPB’s conclusions”.

UK Payments Institution Enters Administration

Monneo, a London headquartered company, has entered special administration, according to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

The payments institution is a provider of virtual IBAN accounts.

Daniel Conway, David Hudson and Paul Allen of the corporate restructuring firm FRP Advisory have been appointed joint special administrators (JSAs), the FCA confirmed. 

Monneo was launched in 2016, but it was told to cease all regulated payment services on April 6 this year “due to concerns that the firm was not meeting its conditions of authorisation”.

US FTC Finalises Order Against Mastercard

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has finalised a consent order, settling charges that Mastercard used illegal business tactics to force merchants to route debit card payments through its payment network.

The announcement concludes the agency’s investigation which alleged that Mastercard used its control over the tokenisation process to block the use of competing payment card networks.

The FTC said the conduct breached US debit card rules known as the Durbin Amendment.

The settlement, which was originally announced in December, requires Mastercard to end these practices and provide competing networks with customer account information they need to process debit payments.

The settlement remains in effect for ten years. 

The case does not include a fine.

Visa, Microsoft Tapped To Test Brazilian CBDC

Visa and Microsoft, along with a dozen other companies, have been selected to participate in a pilot concerning Brazil’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) announced.

Other participants include homegrown neobank Nubank and the country’s largest banks Itaú Unibanco, Banco do Brasil and Bradesco.

In the first phase of the pilot, participants will test privacy and programmability features during a "delivery versus payment" protocol (DvP) of a Treasury bond between users of different institutions, in addition to the services that support this transaction.

The BCB will start onboarding the institutions in mid-June, and developments and testing are expected to run until next February.

French Regulator Slaps BMW With AML Fine

The Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), France’s banking supervisor, has fined BMW Finance €500,000 for poor anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF)  controls. 

“BMW Finance had not acquired sufficient human resources to enable it to comply with all of its AML-CFT obligations,” said the regulator in a statement.  

At the time of the inspection, ACPR said that only two people were in charge of the implementation of its system. 

This was “clearly insufficient” in view of the volume of activity of the establishment and the extent of the tasks entrusted to these employees, according to the ACPR. 

Ex-Standard Chartered Staff Member Served Prohibition Orders After Forgery Conviction

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued two-year prohibition orders against Madison Lin, a former Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) employee, following her conviction for forgery.

Under the orders, Lin is prohibited from performing any regulated activity and from taking part in managing, acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital markets services firm. 

The case dates back to June 2013, when Lin was found to have altered the first page of an SCB client’s statement of accounts so that it appeared to belong to another client.

In August 2021, she was convicted of one count of forgery and ordered to pay a S$4,000 ($2,960) fine.

The MAS said it issued the prohibition orders, which are effective from May 30, because it has “reason to believe” that Lin will not conduct herself “honestly” in any type of regulated activity.

More Trouble For Australia's BNPLs As Humm Hit By Interim Stop Order

One of Australia’s largest buy now, pay later (BNPL) firms has been hit by an interim stop order that prohibits it from onboarding new customers.

Humm, one of Australia's publicly-traded BNPLs, disclosed the order in a note to its investors, leading its stock to fall 10 percent when trading opened.

Issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the order prevents Humm from acquiring new customers due to concerns over its “target market determination”.

The news will come as another blow to Australia’s once-thriving but now struggling BNPL sector, little more than a week after Fupay announced plans to wind down its BNPL business, as covered by VIXIO.

Wagner Boss In Mali Sanctioned In US

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned Ivan Aleksandrovich Maslov, the head of the Mali units of infamous Russian mercenaries group Wagner.

According to the Treasury, Maslov arranges meetings between Yevgeniy Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group in Russia, and government officials from several African nations.

“The Wagner Group may be attempting to obscure its efforts to acquire military equipment for use in Ukraine, including by working through Mali and other countries where it has a foothold,” the announcement warns.

Prigozhin, also nicknamed Putin’s chef, has already been designated in several countries, including the EU, UK, US and Canada.

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