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Ensuring euro money transfers arrive within ten seconds

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On Wednesday, MEPs adopted new rules to ensure transferred funds arrive immediately into the bank accounts of retail customers and businesses across the EU.

The new regulation aims to make sure that retail clients and businesses, especially SMEs, will not have to wait for their money, as well as to enhance the safety of transfers. Banks and other payment service providers (PSPs) will have to ensure credit transfers are affordable and immediately processed. The text, already agreed with EU member states, updates the current Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) rules.

Instant credit transfer

An instant credit transfer is supposed to be executed regardless of the day or hour and the money must arrive into the recipient’s account within ten seconds. The payer should be also informed within ten seconds of whether or not the funds transferred have been made available to the intended recipient.

Member states whose currency is not the euro will also have to apply the rules, where the accounts already offer regular transactions in euro, after a longer transition period. There will be a special derogation from making the payment within ten seconds for such accounts outside business hours, given possible concerns about access to liquidity in euro.

Customer safety, penalties and sanctions

To guarantee safety, PSPs should have in place robust and up-to-date fraud detection and prevention measures, to avoid credit transfers going into the wrong account due to fraud or error. To this end, PSPs operating in the EU should immediately, and without any additional charges or fees, provide a service to verify the identity of the recipient.

As an additional safeguard against fraud, PSPs should allow their clients to set a maximum amount for instant credit transfers in euro, which could be easily modified prior to the next transfer.

If a PSP does not fulfil its fraud prevention duties and this results in financial damage, a client may demand to be compensated by the service provider, according to the new rules.

PSPs offering instant credit transfers should also verify whether any of their clients are subject to sanctions or other restrictive measures related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

Charges stay the same

Charges applied by a PSP in respect to instant credit transfer transactions in euro cannot be higher than the charges applied to “non- instant” credit transfer transactions in euro.

Quote

Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR, NL) the lead MEP said: “The Instant Payments Regulation marks the long-awaited modernisation of payments in the European single market. Customers can now say goodbye to the inconvenience of waiting two or three working days to access their money. We are delivering on something that people and businesses truly care about: transferring money within 10 seconds at any time of the day.”

 

Next steps

The text was adopted with 599 votes to 7 and 35 abstentions.

The new rules enter into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal. PSPs located in the euro area will have 9 months to be ready to receive instant credit transfers in euro and 18 months to send them.

 

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Fintech

Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space

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The BIS, along with seven leading central banks and a cohort of private financial firms, has embarked on an ambitious venture known as Project Agorá.

Named after the Greek word for “marketplace,” this initiative stands at the forefront of exploring the potential of tokenisation to significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the monetary system worldwide.

Central to this pioneering project are the Bank of France (on behalf of the Eurosystem), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the Bank of Mexico, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions have joined forces under the banner of Project Agorá, in partnership with an extensive assembly of private financial entities convened by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

At the heart of Project Agorá is the pursuit of integrating tokenised commercial bank deposits with tokenised wholesale central bank money within a unified, public-private programmable financial platform. By harnessing the advanced capabilities of smart contracts and programmability, the project aspires to unlock new transactional possibilities that were previously infeasible or impractical, thereby fostering novel opportunities that could benefit businesses and consumers alike.

The collaborative effort seeks to address and surmount a variety of structural inefficiencies that currently plague cross-border payments. These challenges include disparate legal, regulatory, and technical standards; varying operating hours and time zones; and the heightened complexity associated with conducting financial integrity checks (such as anti-money laundering and customer verification procedures), which are often redundantly executed across multiple stages of a single transaction due to the involvement of several intermediaries.

As a beacon of experimental and exploratory projects, the BIS Innovation Hub is committed to delivering public goods to the global central banking community through initiatives like Project Agorá. In line with this mission, the BIS will soon issue a call for expressions of interest from private financial institutions eager to contribute to this ground-breaking project. The IIF will facilitate the involvement of private sector participants, extending an invitation to regulated financial institutions representing each of the seven aforementioned currencies to partake in this transformative endeavour.

Source: fintech.globa

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Fintech

TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud

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TD Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as it looks to streamline the development and deployment of new products and services.

The deal will see the Canadian banking group integrate the vendor’s cloud services into a wider portion of its technology solutions portfolio, a move which TD expects will enable it “to respond quickly to changing customer expectations by rolling out new features, updates, or entirely new financial products at an accelerated pace”.

This marks an expansion of the already established relationship between TD Bank and Google Cloud after the group previously adopted the vendor’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for TD Securities Automated Trading (TDSAT), the Chicago-based subsidiary of its investment banking unit, TD Securities.

TDSAT uses GKE for process automation and quantitative modelling across fixed income markets, resulting in the development of a “data-driven research platform” capable of processing large research workloads in trading.

Dan Bosman, SVP and CIO of TD Securities, claims the infrastructure has so far supported TDSAT with “compute-intensive quantitative analysis” while expanding the subsidiary’s “trading volumes and portfolio size”.

TD’s new partnership with Google Cloud will see the group attempt to replicate the same level of success across its entire portfolio.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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Fintech

MAS launches transformative platform to combat money laundering

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The MAS has unveiled Cosmic, an acronym for Collaborative Sharing of Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing Information and Cases, a new money laundering platform.

According to Business Times, launched on April 1, Cosmic stands out as the first centralised digital platform dedicated to combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing on a worldwide scale. This move follows the enactment of the Financial Services and Markets (Amendment) Act 2023, which, along with its subsidiary legislation, commenced on the same day to provide a solid legal foundation and safeguards for information sharing among financial institutions (FIs).

Cosmic enables participating FIs to exchange customer information when certain “red flags” indicate potential suspicious activities. The platform’s introduction is a testament to MAS’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of the financial sector, mandating participants to establish stringent policies and operational safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of the shared information. This strategic approach allows for the efficient exchange of intelligence on potential criminal activities while protecting legitimate customers.

Significantly, Cosmic was co-developed by MAS and six leading commercial banks in Singapore—OCBC, UOB, DBS, Citibank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered—which will serve as participant FIs during its initial phase. The initiative emphasizes voluntary information sharing focused on addressing key financial crime risks within the commercial banking sector, such as the misuse of legal persons, trade finance, and proliferation financing.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director for policy, payments, and financial crime at MAS, highlighted that Cosmic enhances the existing collaboration between the industry and law enforcement authorities, fortifying Singapore’s reputation as a well-regulated and trusted financial hub. Similarly, Pua Xiao Wei of Citi Singapore and Loretta Yuen of OCBC have expressed their institutions’ support for Cosmic, noting its potential to ramp up anti-money laundering efforts and its significance as a development in the banking sector’s ability to combat financial crimes efficiently. DBS’ Lam Chee Kin also praised Cosmic as a “game changer,” emphasizing the careful balance between combating financial crime and ensuring legitimate customers’ access to financial services.

Source: fintech.global

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