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New York supervisor speech on bitlicense for virtual currencies

A week ago, the New America Foundation organised a meeting on the topic of virtual currencies and regulation in New York. During the meeting, a speech was given by Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). He outlined the current thinking on the envisaged bitlicense for virtual currencies in New York.

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ECB publishes assessment guide for the security of Internet payments

Last week, the European central bank published the assessment guide for the security of Internet payments. The guide contains a list of the assessment questions that assists payment service providers with the implementation of the European requirements for the security of Internet payments. Payment Service Providers must demonstrate their compliance with these requirements by January 2015.

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Strong customer authentication: a flexible approach

In July this year, the European Commission published a proposal for a revised Payment Services Directive (PSD). The proposal requires ‘strong customer authentication’ when someone makes an electronic payment transaction. This validates identity by at least two of the following factors: knowledge, possession and inherence. These are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and the process also protects the confidentiality of the authentication data.

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EU Presidency compromise text on Payments Account Directive excludes online e-payment accounts providers

This week the Presidency of the European Union released a compromise text on the Payments Account Directive. It contains explicit wording that limits the scope, in order not to include payment services with a limited payment functionality. The present wording of Article 1.4 is:

This Directive shall apply to payment service providers located in the Union. Payment service providers that operate solely as online e-payment accounts providers are excluded from the scope of this directive.

We welcome this change in the scope as it is step forward in ensuring that this Directive does not unduly burden the providers of specific payment products.

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Speech of ECB Board Member Coeuré on European Retail Payments Policy

Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, today held a speech at a joint conference by the European Central Bank and the Banque de France, “Retail Payments at a Crossroads: Economics, Strategies and Future Policies”. Although this is a conference that focuses primarily on scientific research in the area of payments, his speech provides some insight into the policy issues that are now top-of-mind for the ECB.

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