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  • Is The UK Turning The Corner?

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    According to the Bank of England there is over £52 billion in cash circulating in the UK economy today. That’s enough to buy 232,000 homes all over the country or the Lloyds Banking Group, at today’s prices. Yet as many of us know, the use of paper cash and coinage is in decline. According to the payments council, the amount of cash withdrawn from ATMs between April and June 2010 was £1.6 billion – a decline of 3.2 per cent on the same period last year. In contrast, debit card usage rose £7.9 billion year over year, up 12.4 per cent.

  • Sibos Calling

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    It’s that time of year again. The banking industry is preparing for its yearly outing to Sibos, which brings together the financial industry for an entire week to meet, discuss the top issues of the day and generate new opportunities. This year’s event is being held in Amsterdam and coincides with our 35th anniversary as a company.

  • Understanding Today's Wire Transfer Risks

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    While the rise of wire transfer and ACH (automated clearing houses) fraud is not news, the pure acceleration rate, scale and sophistication of corporate wire and ACH fraud is alarming. For example, the FBI recently took the step of issuing a cyber security advisory in response to the growth of unauthorized and fraudulent multi-million dollar wire transfers from business and government entities to overseas locations.

  • The PFM Debate

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    According to new research from Fiserv Americans prefer to access personal finance management (PFM) tools through banking Web sites, with security concerns trumping the advantages, such as account aggregation, offered by third party providers.

  • Can We Tolerate Tolerance of SEPA?

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    I was musing the other day, as you do in the dog days of summer, on the difference between tolerance and toleration. And the difference, I found, is more than just nominal.

  • Financial Transactions Tax Sparks Debate

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    As we have seen in the media this week, EU proposals for a tax on financial transactions have created a storm of debate in the last 24 hours – mainly focusing on political issues. While the full details of the proposed tax are still unclear, it is obvious that a tax on financial transactions – or payments between banks – would be detrimental for a number of reasons.

  • SEPA Who Will Step Up To The Challenge

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Comments from Gerard Hartsink in the latest EPC newsletter underline the plight of the SEPA Schemes – ultimately that we're in danger of ending up with a politically-driven mess. At Sibos 2008 I blogged that to achieve success, a third party body needed to step in to oversee the SEPA project. Almost two years later, what this newsletter highlights more than ever is that SEPA is a huge and complex undertaking which still lacks a central project manager.

  • The Rise of Third Party Fraud

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    First party fraud continues to be a challenge facing institutions and is, arguably, a necessary evil of doing business for institutions today. However, this also can prove problematic when also trying to balance regulatory and consumer pressure to treat customers fairly. Here the advantage tips in favour of the fraudster: how do institutions manage and treat a customer that they suspect of showing symptoms of first party fraud - fairly. Just look at some of the consumer web forums describing tales of woe where customers or credit applicants have negative registrations against their credit history – purportedly for account misuse or supplying false or misleading information. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that dishonestly making a false representation is now recognised as a criminal offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

  • EFMA: Looking Back at Day One

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    The EFMA conference is a regular event in my calendar, and as I travelled there on Tuesday the omens were looking good. I bought my breakfast at the airport with contactless Visa Paywave and the sun was shining when I arrived in Paris. It promised to be a great week.

  • Uncertainty Piled on Uncertainty: The SEPA Story

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    The journey towards SEPA has been dogged by uncertainty from the start. End-users have not been sure what is on offer from the banks and at what price. Banks have been unsure whether and how to invest in SEPA, unsure about the impact of regulation (especially the PSD), and unsure how the financial crisis might affect their plans or lack of them. Then they have dithered about Additional Optional Services: are they a necessity or a luxury, and how should they best be deployed? And the whole market has been unsure about the adoption of the new SEPA instruments: when and by how much?

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