California Regulator Probes Crypto Lenders

Today in TechREG, the U.K. Parliament sent letters to Visa and Mastercard demanding an explanation for the increase on cross-border fees after the U.K. left the European Union. The inquiry came after the payment regulator in the U.K. signaled that Visa and Mastercard’s increases may indicate that the market is not working well. In California, a financial regulator is investigating several crypto lenders for suspending withdrawals and transfers.

Amazon Pitches Deal to Remedy EU Antitrust Charges While Watchdog Seeks Feedback

Hoping to settle two European Union (EU) antitrust probes, Amazon offered concessions on Thursday (July 14), including fair treatment to third-party sellers and banning the use of nonpublic data to compete with the merchants on its eCommerce site.

The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, is now inviting comments on those commitments offered by Amazon to weigh if the competition concerns are adequately addressed, according to a press release.

UK Parliament Urges Visa, Mastercard to Explain Swipe Fees Hike 

On Wednesday (July 13), the Treasury Committee at the U.K. Parliament sent letters to Visa and Mastercard requesting them to provide explanations of their increases in cross-border interchange fees after the U.K. left the European Union. The companies have until July 27 to respond.

This inquiry comes after the payment systems regulator explained in a July 4 letter to U.K. lawmakers the two market reviews it is planning to conduct on processing fees and cross-border interchange fees. In this correspondence, the regulator told lawmakers that is concerned that Visa and Mastercard’s ability to raise prices is an “indication that the market(s) or aspects of market(s) is not working well.”

California Regulator Probes Crypto Lenders Over Withdrawal Suspensions

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), which looks into operations of state-licensed financial institutions, will be investigating whether crypto asset companies that suspended withdrawals and transfers have broken the law.

The investigation focuses on “multiple companies” which offer interest-bearing crypto-asset accounts, along with service providers that “may not have adequately disclosed risks customers face when they deposit crypto-assets onto [lenders’] platforms.”

NFTs Are Now a Legal Way to Serve Documents in UK Courts

The High Court of England and Wales recently granted an order permitting the court to serve documents of court proceedings via the transfer of a non-fungible token (NFT) on the blockchain in the case of D’Aloia v. Binance Holdings and Others.

This is the first time in the U.K., and second in the world, that a court is allowed to “serve” documents in a blockchain. A U.S. court also authorized a service via an NFT in June.

NY Regulator and Lawmakers Join CFPB in Push to Ban Overdraft Fees

Rohit Chopra, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has made it a priority for the bureau to fight against “junk fees,” overdraft fees, non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees and credit card late fees.

On Tuesday, July 12, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) showed Chopra that it is listening. Adrienne Harris, superintendent of the DFS, announced that the regulator is prohibiting unfair and deceptive overdraft and NFS practices.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW UTILITIES AND CONSUMER FINANCE COMPANIES CAN ENHANCE THE BILL PAYMENTS EXPERIENCE

About: More than half of utilities and consumer finance companies have the capability to process all monthly bill payments digitally. The kicker? Just 12% of them do. The Digital Payments Edge, a PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide collaboration, surveyed 207 billing and collections professionals at these companies to learn why going totally digital remains elusive.

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