Tencent uses face recognition to verify the age of mobile game players

Honour of Kings uses facial recognition to check ages — BBC — “The mobile app resembles League of Legends and pits players against each other in multiplayer online battles set in a fantasy world. Under pressure from local regulators, Tencent introduced restrictions in July 2017 to limit under-12s to one hour of gameplay a day and 13- to 18-year-olds to a maximum of two hours. Last month, the company added a real-name registration system to encourage players to keep to the rules.”


EU begins rollout of cross-border digital identity project

Cross-border digital identification for EU countries: Major step for a trusted Digital Single Market — European Commission — “As of 29 September, the EU-wide legislation on the electronic identification (eIDAS Regulation) will enter into force enabling cross-border recognition of the electronic ID and allowing citizens and business to share their identity data when necessary. People will be able to use their electronic ID (eID) such as ID cards, driver licenses, bank cards and fill tax returns online, access medical records and online public services across the EU.”


Apple Pay hits launch hurdles in India

After Amazon and WhatsApp, Apple orders ‘stop payment’ — The Economic Times — “Silicon Valley giant Apple has shelved plans to launch a Unified Payments Interface-based payments platform in India after landing in a regulatory grey zone that has stalled the full rollouts of similar products by Amazon and WhatsApp as well. Apple put the brakes on introducing Apple Pay in the country despite holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the UPI platform, said two people with knowledge of the matter.”


Starbucks backs plan to create regulated digital asset platform that will support digital currency payments in stores

Intercontinental Exchange announces Bakkt, a global platform and ecosystem for digital assets — Intercontinental Exchange — “Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, vice president, partnerships and payments for Starbucks. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”


NXP gets $2bn takeover breakup fee from Qualcomm

NXP Semiconductors reports second quarter 2018 results — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “NXP has received today notice from Qualcomm Incorporated that Qualcomm has terminated, effective immediately, the purchase agreement between NXP and an affiliate of Qualcomm following the inability to obtain the required approval for the transaction from the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) of the People’s Republic of China prior to the end date stipulated by the parties under the purchase agreement. Qualcomm has notified NXP that it will pay the $2 billion in termination compensation by 9:00 am, New York City time, on July 26, 2018.”



Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.”


Chinese consumers have now deposited $150bn with Alipay and Tencent

PBOC to raise reserve funds ratio for third-party payment firms to 100% — Caixin — “The two largest third-party payment firms, Alipay and Tenpay, combined hold nearly 1tn yuan (US$151bn) of customers’ funds, about 90% of the total reserve funds… Reserve funds are prepayments from online shoppers held temporarily by payment companies that can then earn income on the cash by depositing it in banks or even buying government bonds… The requirement means payment firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd backed Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Tenpay can no longer invest money deposited by their respective clients.”


EBA issues opinion on strong customer authentication requirements under PSD2

Opinion of the European Banking Authority on the implementation of the RTS on SCA and CSC — European Banking Authority — “The regulatory technical standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication (SCA) and common and secure communication (CSC) underpin the new security requirements under PSD2… The EBA has decided to issue an opinion in order to respond to a number of the numerous queries the EBA and competent authorities have received from market participants and aims to provide clarity on the implementation of certain aspects of the RTS that were published.”



Ant Financial to pivot away from Alipay?

Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources — Reuters — “Ant Financial Services Group, the dominant Chinese fintech company, is shifting its main focus to technology services and away from payments and consumer finance as Beijing’s crackdown on financial risk deepens, four sources with knowledge of the matter said… They said the move was propelled, in part, by growing regulatory pressure on Ant’s core financial businesses, including payments, micro lending, credit rating and wealth management.”


SEC charges founder of former mobile payments unicorn Mozido with fraud

SEC charges fintech company founder with scheme to defraud investors and misappropriate funds — US Securities and Exchange Commission — “The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Michael Liberty, the founder of the fintech startup now known as Mozido Inc, with a scheme to trick hundreds of investors into investing in his shell companies instead of Mozido. Liberty and his accomplices then allegedly stole most of the more than US$48m raised to fund a lavish lifestyle that included private jet flights, multi-million dollar residences, expensive cars, and movie production ventures.”


Central bank fines Alipay for breaching data protection regulations

Alipay is stepping up data protection after PBOC fine — Yicai Global — “Alipay, the fintech platform run by Ant Financial Services Group, is looking to improve its data collection processes after China’s central bank fined it for breaching data protection regulations… Alipay published misleading video campaigns and its collection of personal financial information failed to meet minimum security requirements, the regulator said, adding that the firm also used data inappropriately.”


Swedish central bank issues cashless society warning

‘Being cash-free puts us at risk of attack’: Swedes turn against cashlessness — The Guardian — “The Riksbank governor, Stefan Ingves, called for new legislation to secure public control over the payments system, arguing that being able to make and receive payments is a ‘collective good’ like defence, the courts, or public statistics… ‘It should be obvious that Sweden’s preparedness would be weakened if, in a serious crisis or war, we had not decided in advance how households and companies would pay for fuel, supplies and other necessities.’”


China opens up its payments market to foreign companies

China allows foreigners to enter $27tn payments market — Bloomberg — “Foreign players can start applying for payment licenses and will be treated the same as local firms, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on Wednesday. Applicants must set up local units, establish payment infrastructure — including disaster recovery systems — and store client information domestically, the central bank said.”


US regulators simplify licensing process for fintechs

State regulators take first step to standardize licensing practices for Fintech payments — Conference of State Bank Supervisors — “Seven states have agreed to a multi-state compact that standardizes key elements of the licensing process for money services businesses (MSB). The agreement: If one state reviews key elements of state licensing for a money transmitter — IT, cybersecurity, business plan, background check, and compliance with the federal Bank Secrecy Act — then other participating states agree to accept the findings… Other states are expected to join this compact.”



Mastercard to add biometric security to online transactions in Europe

Mastercard establishes biometrics as the new normal for safer online shopping — Mastercard — “Consumers will have the capability to use biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as a way to identify themselves when they shop and pay with Mastercard as of April 2019… This shift to biometrics is part of Mastercard’s new action plan to help banks, retailers and partners to prevent fraud and improve the consumer experience in the new digital environment. It also meets new regulatory requirements around Strong Customer Authentication set out by PSD2 and is aimed at ensuring a smoother consumer experience and reducing unjustified declines.”


Feed for stories about Regulation.