UK

Santander launches the first blockchain-based international money transfer service

Santander has announced the launch of a new international payments service using blockchain-based technology. The service is available to retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, and will be rolled out to more countries in the coming months.  ‘Santander One Pay FX’ allows customers to complete international transfers on the same day or by the next day.

Santander, 12 April 2018

First non-bank payment service provider joins UK payment system settling in central bank money

The Bank of England (BoE) published a press release announcing that the first non-bank payment service provider (PSP), TransferWise, has joined a UK payment system settling in central bank money. It became a direct participant in the UK's Faster Payments system on 13 April 2018. Holding their own settlement account at the BoE enables these PSPs to apply, for the first time, for direct access to the UK's sterling payment systems, including Faster Payments, Bacs, CHAPS, LINK and Visa.  Wider access is expected to bring financial stability benefits through increasing the proportion of settlement in central bank money, diversifying the number of settlement firms, and driving greater innovation in risk-reducing payments technologies. It also has the potential to enable more efficient, effective and inclusive payments. The BoE has worked closely with the FCA, HM Treasury, HMRC, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and the payment system operators to enable access while safeguarding resilience.

BoE, 18 April 2018.

Open Banking ends managed roll out

The UK's Open Banking initiative has completed its three-month managed roll out programme, leaving regulated firms free to start offering related services. Since mid-January, the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has carried out a managed roll out designed to prove that the systems designed to give customers control over their financial data are ready.  The OBIE says that the operation has proven the account data access functionality of the Open Banking system, meaning that FCA authorised and registered third parties are now able to offer products based on it to customers. With the roll out complete, consumers and businesses can now start sharing their financial data with third parties. To help these new developers make the most of the system, the OBIE has set up a service called Launch Support, offering end-to-end guidance on things such as getting regulatory clearance to actually connecting to accounts.

Finextra, 17 April 2018

 

Metro Banks gets personal with launch of AI-powered insights

Metro Bank is planning to offer its customers a money management service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Using predictive analytics capabilities, alongside AI, Insights continuously monitors transaction data and patterns in real-time, in order to identify relevant trends and events in users’ spending habits. These are then translated into tailored prompts, providing customers with more control over their finances.

Metro Bank, 17 April 2017