Daily Dash: UK's Payment Systems Regulator Appoints New Head Of Strategy

December 19, 2023
The Payment Systems Regulator has appointed a new head of strategy from the transport industry, Ukraine has set its sights on joining SEPA in 2024, and TNG (Asia) has received an anti-money laundering fine in Hong Kong.

UK's Payment Systems Regulator Appoints New Head Of Strategy

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has appointed Dan Moore as its new head of strategy and intelligence, effective as of January 15, 2024.

Moore joins the PSR from the Department for Transport (DfT), where he has worked for nine years and currently serves as director of rail strategy and analysis.

Prior to the DfT, Moore worked for the Competition and Markets Authority for one year and the Office of Fair Trading for ten years.

The PSR said Moore’s role will focus on understanding current and future trends in payments, both in the UK and internationally.

This will inform the delivery of the regulator’s five-year strategy and will identify new areas that the PSR should be focusing on.

Ukraine Eyes SEPA Launch In 2024

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said it plans to connect the country to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2024, as reported by local news agency Interfax Ukraine.

Andriy Pyshnyy, governor of the NBU, posted an update of the plans on Facebook: “We have carried out thorough preparatory work and next year we plan to initiate the process of Ukraine’s accession to SEPA,” he said.

In preparation for SEPA accession, Pyshnyy said Ukraine has made “significant progress” in improving banking and non-banking legislation for “full compliance” with EU standards.

He also said the NBU will continue to work on easing foreign exchange restrictions, ensuring exchange rate flexibility and returning to inflation targeting.

Hong Kong Digital Wallet App Fined For AML/CTF Failures

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has imposed a fine of HK$1.5m ($224,000) on TNG (Asia) for violation of the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance.

The disciplinary action, which follows an on-site examination and investigation by the HKMA, found that TNG (Asia) had failed to fulfil the minimum criteria for anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) and prudential risk management.

All offences took place between August 2016 and 2020. The HKMA noted that this is the first time TNG (Asia) has been penalised for non-compliance, which mitigated the penalties imposed.

TNG (Asia) is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based TNG Fintech Group. Not to be confused with Malaysia’s Touch N’ Go, TNG Fintech’s other holdings include Tranglo, a cross-border payment app, and Walletku, an Indonesian digital wallet.

New Hampshire Becomes Latest US State To Legislate Against CBDC

Following similar action in Indiana, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, New Hampshire has become the latest US state to legislate against the use of central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In New Hampshire, Republican representative James Summers and three cosponsors have introduced House Bill 1232 (HB1232).

If adopted, the bill would prohibit any agency, department or political subdivision of the state from accepting payments using CBDC.

It would also prohibit them from participating in any test of CBDC by any Federal Reserve branch.

In May this year, as covered by Vixio, lawmakers in Florida voted 116-1 to ban the use of CBDC in the state.

The bill, the first-of-its-kind in the US, was signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis later that month.

Russian Director Of UK Payments Firm Quits Following FCA Probe

A Russian citizen who was a director of a UK payments firm has resigned following a restriction order placed on the company by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Mikhail Strogonov, also known as Mikhail Nadel or Michael Strogonov, resigned from his post at Dzing Finance on November 20, according to a Companies House filing.

In October, the FCA imposed severe restrictions on Dzing Finance, after finding that one in five payments received by its users were linked to authorised push payment (APP) fraud.

Previously, Strogonov was the chairman of Asia Universal Bank, the largest bank in Kyrgyzstan. He held the post until 2010, but was convicted of fraud and money laundering in Kyrgyzstan and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

Strogonov denied the charges, claiming that he was wrongfully convicted due to political motivations. According to Companies House, Strogonov currently resides in Israel.

IrisGuard Biometrics Partners With Yemen’s National Payments Company 

IrisGuard, a provider of biometric payments technology, has announced a new partnership with the National Payments Company of Yemen (MEPSYemen).

The partnership will see MEPSYemen implement the IrisGuard's EyePay Network, which will be deployed for retail use at banks, shops, post offices and mobile wallet agents, and by government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

"This agreement is a significant step in developing technological services in Yemen,” said Kamal Abdulraqeeb Al-Subaihi, director general of payment systems at the Central Bank of Yemen.

“It reflects the vision of the Central Bank of Yemen, aiming for digital transformation through the implementation of secure and sound payment systems, aligning with international standards.”

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