London, United Kingdom. 29th July 2020: The Emerging Payments Association (EPA), which celebrates collaboration and innovation across the emerging payments industry, has today launched a review paper, ‘Avoiding a payments lockdown’, to present to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Treasury following the shutdown of Wirecard Card Solutions Limited.
The paper seeks to identify the current vulnerabilities of the business models that underpin the payments industry, highlight how the direct implications of the FCA’s intervention left consumers vulnerable, and aims to further discussion with the FCA to consider such regulatory processes in the future.
The EPA’s Project Regulator spoke with representatives from major banks, e-money issuers, processors, former regulators and other stakeholders across the industry to consider how institutions were impacted and how the industry can help regulators tailor their actions to the current business models and practical realities of the industry as it continuously evolves.
The paper, presented in eight sections, provides a reference guide from the point of view of the payments industry to the complex business models which underpin today’s e-money and Bank Identification Number (BIN) sponsorship industry. A collection of insights from the eight authors also analyses the effects and causes of the shutdown, including:
- How firms and regulators can avoid getting into a similar situation
- Alternative means of dealing with similar situations as they arise
- The impact of regulatory intervention on different groups of customers
- Communication priorities and strategy
- Repatriation of funds
- Concerns around safeguarding
Tony Craddock, Director General of the Emerging Payments Association, commented: “There’s a problem and it needs resolving. The payments community has rallied round to help ensure that the regulator does not throw out the Fintech baby with the bathwater”
Chris Hill, Commercial Technology Partner and EPA Project Regulator member, added: “The sudden shutdown of Wirecard came as something of a shock to many in the payments industry, and their customers. Whilst that particular case is very unusual there are lessons to be learned from it, and we hope that this paper will help the industry and the regulator to work together to lessen the negative effects of any similar situation in future”