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EBA makes recommendations for reducing supervisory reporting costs



As part of its drive for more proportionate regulatory and supervisory framework, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has finalised its comprehensive study of the cost of compliance of European Economic Area (EEA) banks with the supervisory reporting requirements.

In the summary report published today, the EBA has identified numerous recommendations collectively leading to a potential reduction of the banks’ reporting costs by up to 15-24%. Most of the recommendations will be implemented by the EBA as part of its ongoing policy work on developing and enhancing the common EU supervisory reporting framework.

The cost of compliance study focuses on three main aspects. First, it tries to understand the actual reporting costs incurred by the EEA banks in relation to supervisory reporting, and in particular in relation to the EBA implementing technical standards (ITS) on Supervisory Reporting. Second, it assesses the effects of a reduction of some specific reporting requirements on reporting costs and supervisory effectiveness. Third, it assesses whether the reporting costs were proportionate with regard to the benefits delivered. In the report the EBA also looked at the classification of the EEA banks into various proportionality categories introduced in the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR).

In the report the EBA identifies 25 recommendations aimed at reducing the costs of compliance with supervisory reporting requirements focusing primarily on small and non-complex institutions. However, the recommendations will improve reporting requirements and processes for all institutions whilst retaining the end-user benefits of the single supervisory framework. The recommendations address four broad areas:

changes to the development process for the EBA reporting framework;
changes to the design of EBA supervisory reporting requirements and reporting content;
coordination and integration of data requests and reporting requirements;
changes to the reporting process, including the wider use of technology.

The study also identified the need to remove barrier to the wider adoption by institutions of FinTech and RegTech solutions as well as to promote better digitalisation of the institutions’ internal documents and contracts. This is particularly relevant for small and non-complex institutions.

The EBA will incorporate the recommendations into its work programme and implement them as part of the ongoing work, according to the availability of internal resources. Certain recommendations would lead to specific policy products that will follow the usual policy development process, which includes seeking industry and other stakeholders’ views through the public consultation process.

The EBA will also continue its work on making the reporting process more efficient for all stakeholder through its work on the feasibility study of integrated reporting (more information available here).
Legal basis and background

The EBA is mandated by Article 430(8) of the CRR to measure the costs institutions incur when complying with the reporting requirements set out in the EBA’s ITS on supervisory reporting. Such reporting costs should be assessed since the introduction of the common supervisory reporting in the EU in 2013. The EBA is also asked to assess whether these reporting costs are proportionate with regard to the benefits delivered for the purposes of prudential supervision and make recommendations on how to reduce the reporting cost at least for small and non-complex institutions.

The analysis draws on significant input from and interaction with the industry. The EBA sent voluntary quantitative and qualitative questionnaires to all EEA credit institutions. The EBA interviewed various industry trade bodies and small and non-complex institutions across several Member States. The EBA also received voluntary case studies from various stakeholders that have been used in the analysis. Users of supervisory reporting, in particular supervisory authorities, also provided information to inform the analysis.

As part of the recommendations, the EBA also considered streamlining liquidity reporting (additional liquidity monitoring metrics) and exempting small and non-complex institutions from reporting certain templates, introducing changes to reporting large exposures, leverage ratio and net stable funding ratio, improving and further simplifying the reporting on asset encumbrance, better signposting of the regulatory and reporting requirements, introducing better articulation, explanation and providing examples in the ITS on supervisory reporting, and seeking greater coordination between the authorities in their ad hoc information requests.

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EBA Clearing and Iberpay Introduce Interoperable Services to Handle Messages that Comply with SEPA Request to Pay Scheme



EBA Clearing and Iberpay revealed on Tuesday (June 15, 2021) that they have introduced two interoperable services to handle messages and offer functionalities that comply with the updated SEPA Request-to-Pay Scheme (SRTP) developed by the European Payments Council (EPC).

The introduction of these infrastructure services took place on Tuesday, which is actually the day of the entry of the new SEPA scheme.

EBA Clearing and Iberpay have made a considerable effort to provide this service to clients right from the launch of the scheme. They claim to be the first European infrastructure providers that are ready to provide this new feature.

Payment service providers or PSPs and other service providers complying with the updated SEPA scheme are now able to exchange SRTP messages end-to-end, within seconds and across Europe, because of the connection between real-time messaging systems of EBA Clearing and Iberpay.

This key milestone offers the missing piece to support various use-cases that may help clients who rely on instant payments.

The SEPA Request-to-Pay Scheme is the set of operating rules, messages and technical elements that lets a Payee request the initiation of a payment from a Payer prior to the exchange of the funds.

The implementation of the scheme was supported by the EPC after a call to action by the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) in November 2018 to start using the request to pay capability.

Request to Pay isn’t actually a payment instrument. It’s a way to request a payment initiation (pull payment). Request to Pay services are offered 24 hours, 7 days a week. They aim to enhance the payment process by adding a message exchange, which occurs before the payment (SCT or SCT Inst) and includes:

  • A request to the Payer for a payment.
  • The acceptation or refusal of this request by the Payer.
  • The information delivered as part of this request to pay exchange, allows the Payer to identify the Payee and makes it easier for the Payee to identify and reconcile the following payment.

Request to Pay should further improve with ongoing developments and has been identified by the European Commission and the Eurosystem in their retail payments plans as having the potential to add value to the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) Scheme and to also improve the usability while supporting the adoption of instant and virtual payments.

Request to Pay may be used to support unpaid or returned direct debits, digital commerce payments, substitution of other payment instruments, public administration payments, payment of e-invoices and even at point of sale.

Juan Luis Encinas, MD at Iberpay, stated:

“Iberpay is strongly committed to playing a leading role in instant and digital payments and we believe that the launch of our Request to Pay service from the very beginning is a very important milestone for that. IBERPAY is extremely pleased to collaborate with EBA CLEARING with the aim to assure pan-European reachability for the SRTP Scheme and to better serve its users.”

Hays Littlejohn, CEO at EBA Clearing, remarked:

“We are pleased to see the Spanish community connected to our R2P Service from day one of the SRTP Scheme. IBERPAY is the first infrastructure provider extending R2P access to its user community. This supports our objective to build full pan-European reach for Request to Pay and ensure interoperability between the underlying infrastructures”.

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Traditional Versus Direct to Wallet Bitcoin Payment Gateways

Should you go the traditional route and go to a big company that accepts payments similar to PayPal?



For those interested in accepting Bitcoin payments, there is a question of what type of payment processor to choose.

Should you go the traditional route and go to a big company that accepts payments in a similar manner to PayPal?

Or should you look into a direct to wallet payment gateway? These questions are important to consider when choosing a payment processor for your store.

What is a Traditional Bitcoin Payment Gateway?

PayPal and Stripe have long dominated the fiat currency payment market, and Traditional Payment Gateways for Bitcoin operate just like them. They act as a middle man, controlling the payments and handling them entirely.

The merchant doesn’t see any Bitcoin until they withdraw the Bitcoin from the “wallet” on the payment processor’s website. There can be added fees on the withdrawal process, and there is a longer wait time to process that Bitcoin.

Any of the woes you’ve experienced with PayPal? You’re going to experience them here too. PayPal has even entered the Bitcoin market.

Are Traditional Payment Gateways worth it?

But with the negatives of the traditional system, there are some positives. The set-up process is often quick and easy, although there is a lot of time lost in the KYC process.

Getting your ID checked can be a pain, especially if you don’t have the proper form of ID. But these processors can be plug in and go, the payment system itself for customers often works acceptably.

The merchant just has to deal with the process of withdrawing Bitcoin.

These businesses are also often more established. That means they know how to help with your taxes, they know what tax documents you might need. But it also means they are prone to attacks and hacks.

They keep large quantities of Bitcoin in the same wallets, this makes it tempting to criminals. You have to depend on the company’s security.

What are Direct to Wallet Payment Gateways?

These offer the alternative to traditional payment gateways, that include companies like Blockonomics and BTCPayServer. They are often smaller, but that means they are a labor of love.

The people running these companies often care about Bitcoin as a technology and a currency rather than looking to get a quick buck. They succeed by listening to customer feedback and implementing it, just like any small business.

What does this mean?

This means several things:

  1. You Are In Control: Direct to Wallet means you are your own bank. You control your funds, you control where they go, and no one else touches them. When a sale occurs, the Bitcoin is sent directly to your wallet, no middleman involved.
  2. Transactions are Fast: Because it goes directly into your wallet, the start to end process is much quicker. You don’t worry about the Bitcoin going through multiple wallets, so you get that Bitcoin in your hands faster.
  3. It is Cheap: Traditional payment processors have a lot more touch points to serve you with fees. There’s the transaction and then the withdrawal. Hence, fees generally stack up when using them. Comparatively, Direct to Wallet has only one touch point, the transaction, and they often charge a low fee for that. Blockonomics, for example, charges 1% after the first 10 payments.

Direct to Wallet payment processors are becoming more and more popular. As Bitcoin continues to grow into the popular mindset, small businesses have to ask themselves who they want to facilitate their Bitcoin sales.

Small businesses need to stick together and support each other, whether it’s for Bitcoin payments or other services.

What should you use?

At the end of the day that still depends on you. There are plenty of reasons to go the traditional route, but just understand what you are getting yourself into. It might be worth it to take a look at the Direct to Wallet route to see if the benefits to your business outweigh the very few negatives.

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Latin American telecom company accepts crypto payments through BitPay

GoldConnect will be able to process crypto transactions made in Bitcoin, Ether and other digital assets through its new LatamConnect platform.



GoldConnect, a Latin American telecommunications wholesaler, announced Tuesday that it will allow customers to pay with cryptocurrencies through payment processor BitPay, marking another important milestone in the region’s embrace of Bitcoin (BTC).

Crypto payments can be made directly through LatamConnect, a platform that connects directly with BitPay. Crypto payments made through BitPay are settled in local fiat currency.

GoldConnect said its embrace of crypto payments reflects growing demand for such services across the 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries in which it operates.

“As a disruptive telecom provider in the LATAM region, we must continuously embrace the latest technologies and business methods to improve the interaction and experience of our clients,” said Jeremy Villalobos, chief operating officer of GoldConnect.

Shaun Worley, vice president of BitPay, added:

“GoldConnect realizes the potential for crypto to transform the wholesale telecommunication industry, making payments faster, more secure, and less expensive on a global scale.”

Latin America is becoming a hotbed for cryptocurrency activity. Recently, El Salvador became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender, setting the stage for mass adoption in the region. Political representatives from several countries, including Brazil and Panama, have also expressed an interest in embracing Bitcoin.

Related: Adopting the Bitcoin standard? El Salvador writes itself into history books

As Cointelegraph reported, Bitso recently became Latin America’s first billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. It took Bitso six years to bring in 1 million users and another 10 months to register 2 million, highlighting the steep adoption curve during the 2020–2021 bull market.

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Former PayPal employees launch decentralized cross-border payment network on Algorand

“Fueling cross-border transactions with regulated stablecoins to represent fiat on-chain has never been done before,” said Borderless Capital CEO David Garcia.



Two former PayPal workers in business and technology have launched a cross-border payment system aimed at “faster, cheaper, and more transparent payments.”

In an announcement on Tuesday, fintech infrastructure firm Six Clovers said it launched its Rapid network, which connects banks, merchants and payment providers, allowing clients to transact in digital currencies and fiat. Founded by former PayPal employees Jim Nguyen and Nas Kavian and backed by venture capital firm Borderless Capital, the network is built on the Algorand blockchain and employs the technology behind stablecoins to represent fiat.

“Six Clovers is creating a bridge between traditional and decentralized finance, expanding access to the next generation of digital products and services,” said Algorand CEO Steve Kokinos.

The project claimed that its network will offer an alternative for payment providers currently using the SWIFT protocol for cross-border payments. Rapid uses USD Coin (USDC) to represent fiat on the Algorand blockchain, provides peer-to-peer transactions and can reportedly handle up to 46,000 transactions per second.

Related: JPMorgan and DBS to launch blockchain cross-border payment platform

“Fueling cross-border transactions with regulated stablecoins to represent fiat on-chain has never been done before,” said Borderless Capital CEO David Garcia. “[The network] is going to unleash a wave of mass blockchain adoption across banks, merchants, and payment providers as they see the need to embrace the digital future.”

A proof-of-stake protocol, Algorand said its blockchain is fully carbon neutral as of April. The project has implemented a “sustainability oracle” in partnership with ClimateTrade to notarize its on-chain carbon footprint and then lock the equivalent amount of carbon credits into a “green treasury.”

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