PSD2 Open Banking update

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Following updates in 2009 and 2012, the latest revision of the Payment Services Directive (PSD) has now come into force.

Often referred to within the UK as Open Banking Standards, the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) legislation was formally implemented on the 13th January, two years after being adopted by the European Parliament and brings a number of significant changes to the original iteration of the Directive.  Companies affected by PSD2 include all existing Payment Service Providers (PSPs) such as banks, building societies, credit card providers, money remitters and e-money issuers, and also a range of firms that are not currently required to be FCA-authorised or regulated.  This includes businesses that provide services that are currently exempt from regulation because of the limited network, ‘digital download’ or commercial agent exemptions, or provide (or plan to provide) account information and/or payment initiation services.

The aims of PSD2 can be summarised as the following:

  • contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market
  • improve the level playing field for payment service providers
  • promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments
  • make payments safer and more secure
  • protect consumers
  • encourage lower prices for payments

In real terms, the effect of this legislation is that the largest banks in the UK must now release their data in a secure, standardised form, so that it can be shared more easily between authorised organisations online.  This data may be as simple as branch locations, or more importantly, information relating to transactions – how much is spent or borrowed for example.  This will enable customers to make more informed decisions about their money and which bank or institution they choose to use.

This legislation relates to current account data only at present, but further revisions to the legislation are scheduled to take place over the following two years, such as the inclusion of credit card information and other payment accounts.

As with the original PSD, the FCA is the UK competent authority with primary responsibility under PSD2 for monitoring compliance and enforcement.  The non-profit organisation Open Banking Limited is responsible for coordinating the system across the UK.

To find out if your business is affected by PSD2 and Open Banking, and what you may need to do, click the link below.

https://www.fca.org.uk/how-psd2-affects-your-business

Online casinos failing to adhere to Gambling Commissions AML and KYC regulations

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According to an article posted on the BBC website last week, online casinos are failing to adhere to the Gambling Commissions policies on Anti-money Laundering and the protection of problem gamblers.

It has written to all 195 UK operators and warned them to review procedures.

Many were unable to spot signs of financial crime and compulsive gambling, it said. It is investigating 17 companies, with five under licence review. If a company loses its licence, it would no longer be able to operate in the UK. None of the operators under investigation has been named by the regulator.

How can CIS help?

Anti-money Laundering and Know Your Customer checking is our speciality. We are available to help operators become compliant with the Gambling Commissions regulations. With a third of all UK gambling taking place online, it is more important than ever to assure your company is following these rules.

We are now offering a FREE triage health check for your online casino. We already work with some of the biggest casino's in the UK helping them to provide duty of care for their customers and help in the fight to keep crime out of gambling.

For more information or to apply for a free triage health check, please complete the form below.

Get my free health check

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CIS attending PAY360 this March

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We are pleased to announce we will be one of the official sponsors for PAY360 on March 1st.

PAY360, is an flagship annual conference is a true celebration of payments innovation. This event brings together the leaders in the emerging payments community to discuss
the future of our exciting industry. We expect an audience of over 300 C-level delegates at PAY360 in 2018.

The event will take place at:

The Crystal
One Siemens Brothers Way
Royal Victoria Docks
London E16 1GB

CIS attending Fintech Social - Embracing Digital Identity

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In just over 2 weeks time Capita Identity Solutions will be attending the Techspace venue in Shoreditch for the Embracing Digital Identity event. If you would like to book some time so chat with us over a coffee then please contact us below.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Link to the event website

New three-year strategy from the Gambling Commission

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The Gambling Commission have recently released their new three-year strategy which aims to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers. A total of £13.8 billion is spent on the British gambling industry each year, with 63% of the population aged 16+ gambling at least once annually.

The strategy, which highlights five main objectives, will see gambling operators taking a more consumer led approach to improve the way the industry works.

The first objective aims to protect the interests of consumers. Gambling operators need to improve customer information on the products they use, and offer more protection for children and vulnerable adults. Users will have more control of their gambling practices and operators will be expected to intervene early should problems arise.

The commission pledges to review and strengthen rules surrounding misleading or unfair practices, and promise a greater understanding of illegal gambling in Britain, working with partners to protect consumers.

A report in December 2016 from GambleAware estimated that problem gambling costs the UK government up to £1.2 billion a year. Gambling can cause harm to the public and consumers in the form of mental health or social problems (including crime).

The Gambling Commission’s second objective, to prevent harm to consumers and the public, pledges to improve regulation and place tighter controls on operators to protect consumers. It calls for improved access to information to both consumers and operators on the risks associated with gambling, and how to mitigate them.

With a promise to create a world leading approach to tackling gambling related harm caused by crime, the new strategy will enforce tighter regulations to prevent money laundering and illegal gambling.

A third objective, which aims to raise standards in the gambling market, will enable consumers to have more trust in the industry. Operators will be forced to have a higher level of accountability including ways to ensure fair play, keep markets free from crime and money laundering, and enable operators to better know their customers.

The Gambling Commission also pledges to optimise returns to good causes from lotteries, by ensuring that the National Lottery continues to be run in a fair and safe way, and encourage complete transparency in the contributions that lotteries make.

The final point highlights improvements to the way the Gambling Commission itself regulates, with a pledge to consider the whole market, long term by applying a risk based approach. Operators should expect the Commission to intervene where necessary, but also anticipate a higher level of engagement between operators and the commission themselves, to protect the market and consumers.

New regulations coming in for Adult Entertainment vendors online

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The government recently announced new regulations which will require all adult entertainment websites accessed by UK users to be stricter with their policies, changing the way people access adult content on the internet.

The new Digital Economy Act will force all websites containing adult content to prove their users are over 18 years old before they grant access, which means all affected websites must enable age verification tools by April 2018. Companies not complying with the new regulations will face fines of up to £250,000 or being blocked by ISP’s.

Websites may well adapt similar systems to those used by online gambling companies, by asking users to provide credit card details (which can only be issued to people over the age of 18). This tactic has been used successfully by online betting sites since the Gambling Bill of 2004.

Protecting children from potentially damaging online content is at the forefront of the changes. Child protection groups have long been demanding legislation of online adult material to reduce the number of children affected. A recent NSPCC study stated that 65% of 15-16 year olds, and 48% of 11-16 year olds had seen sexually explicit videos online.

Despite the unarguable need to protect children from damaging content, privacy campaigners claim that these new regulations could spell problems. Adult content companies holding sensitive data about people using them exposes the users to risks from online hackers and fraudsters. As we saw with the Ashley Madison hacks in 2015, sensitive data regarding use of certain sites can be a highly lucrative bonus for criminals.

Adult sites from anywhere in the world will be required to show age verification tools for them to be accessed from the UK or websites will face being blocked by ISP’s. Adult content websites have just 6 months to comply with the new rules and should be preparing for the changes now.

Capita identity Solutions sponsors the LONDON•FRAUD•FORUM

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On the 12th of October we proudly sponsored the LONDON•FRAUD•FORUM (LFF).

The LFF is the organisation for London’s anti-fraud community - bringing together the public and private sectors to fight fraud.

They provide an invaluable forum for members to share experiences, opinions and ideas on best practice in the day-to-day business of fighting fraud and economic crime.

Fraud is a difficult subject to talk about, so the LFF was formed ten years ago to promote change and forge an open anti-fraud culture. They are working towards better flows of information and honest discussion across all sectors, which they believe will lead to a greater and wider understanding of fraud issues and more co-operation - and success - in fighting fraud in the London area and beyond.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with LFF and will continue to support their work for years to come.

Rapid emergence of the vaping market and all the restrictions applied to the market

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The use of e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid has rapidly gained traction as users see it as a safer alternative to smoking. In a recent report carried out by Ernst and Young, 2.2 million Brits are now vaping, a rise of 55% in just three years.

But, despite its popularity and Public Health England claiming that is it 95% less harmful than smoking, controversy surrounding the use of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) continues to rage. Many still believe that is it no less harmful than smoking traditional tobacco products, and governments are experiencing a huge tax shortfall with so many people turning away from lucrative tobacco.

Controversy aside, this new and emerging market is now subject to strict EU legislation aimed “…at harmonising the quality and safety requirements of the products for the benefit of consumers. In addition, rules on packaging and labelling will ensure that consumers are better informed."

The Tobacco Products Directive, which became law in May 2016 and gave suppliers a year to fully comply, is now in full force. And comes nearly two years after the government placed age restrictions on the purchase of e-cigarettes. This new directive requires all cigarette and tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging and limits of the size of cigarettes and tobacco packages, in an attempt to make it less attractive to young smokers. But the TPD also places several additional restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes.

The maximum nicotine capacity of liquid is now 20mg, down from 24mg previously. As well as restrictions on flavours and size of refill bottles and tanks (10ml and 2ml respectively). Restrictions on advertising similar to those placed on traditional tobacco products are also in force, as well as a complete ban on celebrity endorsements.

There are also stricter controls on the innovation of new products, with manufacturers required to notify government bodies about new products six months before they are launched.

Whether or not the restrictions contained in the TPD will slow down the growth of the vaping market remains to be seen, but many people see legislation of this innovative and emerging industry as a necessary and welcome defence in the battle against nicotine addiction.