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The digital pound: A critical analysis of its evolution and future

Conversations around a digital pound are growing louder as the weeks roll by. With use cases popping up around the globe, is it time Britain followed suit? In a similar fashion to the way coins largely made way for banknotes, digital currency is the next natural progression in the evolution of money, whether consumers like the idea of it or not.

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AI for good: Boosting payments compliance with technology

AI has been a hot topic in the financial services sector for some time and the topic keeps gathering momentum. It is clear, AI has many potential use cases, such as: helping firms scale up their business; making better informed strategic business decisions; and supporting the efficient and effective delivery of regulatory compliance to name just a few potential use cases.

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The real battle for the customer begins

In an era where customer focus, innovation, and the challenge of profitable growth take center stage, the payments industry faces a pivotal transformation, signalling the end of ‘easy growth’ for traditional giants

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How leaders are mastering the compliance-innovation tightrope

Leaders of companies operating in the payment technology landscape are well-accustomed to the challenges of complex regulations set by various governing bodies. Whether the companies are established financial institutions or agile fintech start-ups, navigating this terrain requires much effort.

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How digital payments can accelerate financial inclusion in 2024

Financial inclusion, as defined by the World Bank, is crucial for economic development and social progress, ensuring equal access to financial products and services tailored to the needs of both individuals and businesses. The United Nations emphasises financial inclusion as a crucial driver of economic and social development, evident in its inclusion as component eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

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Cross-border real-time payments: Breaking down the barriers for global commerce

In an increasingly interconnected world, global commerce has become the lifeblood of the modern economy. Businesses of all sizes are expanding their reach beyond borders, opening up new opportunities and markets. However, the traditional financial systems have often lagged behind the speed and efficiency demanded by the globalised marketplace. Enter cross-border real-time payments—a concept that is reshaping international trade by breaking down barriers and providing a boost to global commerce.

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Big Tech

Is Big Tech a help or hindrance to the payments sector?

Since 2019, the UK’s banking sector has been refunding customers who become victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams, causing heated debate among industry professionals who believe the responsibility should lie elsewhere.
This year, rules laid out by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2023 will come into force. The rules stipulate that both the sending and receiving firms should hold equal liability when reimbursing fraud victims in most cases. The rules have received widespread criticism from insiders and industry bodies alike. UK Finance has hit out at the PSR’s rules, which avoid the mention of Big Tech in the conversation.

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Zing – An attack on payments or a subtle shift?

HSBC’s January launch of Zing, an e-money institution and standalone money transfer app, is something of a strategic departure for the global banking behemoth for a number of reasons.

What it may imply for the bank strategically and what it signals for the future of international money transfers, fees, and product development are all valid questions. The true motivations behind the launch are likely more nuanced than may seem likely at first glance or that the bank may have you believe.

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How financial institutions can navigate the future of digital asset custody

Traditional finance is at a crossroads with the new digital frontier, and the rapidly evolving landscape of digital assets demands innovative custodial solutions. For banks, payment service providers, financial institutions and others that are either considering or already piloting digital asset projects, it’s imperative to understand the importance of an underlying custody infrastructure.

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Empowering inclusion: Accessible payments

Disability has the potential to impact anyone in society. It can be visible or hidden, temporary, or permanent, and can be influenced by a number of factors. More than one billion people around the world have some level of disability, equating to roughly 15% of the global population. At the same time, the world is ageing as people live longer, and the number of people aged 60 and over will double to 2.1 billion by 2050.

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To meet customer expectations, PSPs must prioritise end-to-end reconciliations

The payments sector’s success and growth over the past decade can largely be attributed to firms’ ability to meet and exceed customer’s expectations. Unlike established banks, fintechs are largely free from the legacy tech stacks that slow down banks from modernising. So Payment Service Providers (PSPs) can anticipate customer needs and provide services that address their problems. However, as new PSPs continue to emerge, the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. So PSPs have to meet changing customer expectations more quickly.

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The transformation of payment cards

The ongoing digitisation of payments can perpetuate a false narrative that traditional payment cards are becoming obsolete. The reality is that card payments are thriving globally, adapting to the new age of fintech and smartphones. While the landscape of financial transactions is ever-changing, the truth is that one size does not fit all – and different markets have different payment requirements. 

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A new face in a $290 trillion marketplace

2024 will herald much innovation in the payments world, with digital currencies and digital wallets firmly entering the mainstream and grabbing the lion’s share of headlines. However, UNITE Global – a new entrant currently flying somewhat under the radar – could enjoy one of the most impactful debuts for many years to shape the future of a critical payments marketplace.

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Regulation spotlight: Future of UK stablecoin regulation

On 30 October 2023, HM Treasury (HMT) issued its long-awaited policy document on the regulation of fiat-backed stablecoins in the UK. Framed as “Phase 1” of the UK’s approach to cryptoasset regulation, HMT’s paper was quickly followed by discussion papers from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Bank of England (BOE) on the future regulatory approach to such stablecoins.

Although there are a number of steps to go before the stablecoin regime comes into effect (with implementation anticipated in 2025), the 2023 papers give helpful insights into the direction of the new regime.

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Unleashing the power of SaaS

Software as a service (SaaS) has sparked a paradigm shift in the corporate domain in the past five years, revolutionising pivotal industries like finance, transactions, and insurance.

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Sovereign Rollups: Why Do You Need It?

Going back in time, during the Ethereum period, when we first embraced the smart-contract blockchains, all the operations that go into mining and validating a transaction, like data availability, consensus, execution

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Year-end 2023 payments quiz

A lot has gone on in the payments sector in the last 12 months, but have you been paying attention? There’s only one way to find out, we’ve devised a quiz to test your mettle below. 

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2023 Payments

Payments landscape 2023: A year in review

Plenty has happened in the payments space over the past 12 months. Landmark legislation has been passed and new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) have integrated themselves further, irreversibly changing the way transactions will be made. As the year draws to a close, we take a look at other triumphs and challenges faced by the industry in the past 12 months.

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Payments regulation in 2024: A year of evolution

The UK and EU payments sectors continued to draw increasing regulatory scrutiny throughout 2023. Indeed, the need to deliver compliance with new regimes, such as the consumer duty in the UK, required a great deal of firm’s attention and resources throughout the year.

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