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Payments Insights

The First Blockchain Antitrust Case. Or Is It?

Posted  05/29/19
By Kristian Soltes
Legal professionals paying close attention to the still nascent world of blockchains and cyptocurrencies are following what is considered to be the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrencies. For enthusiasts, United American Corp. v. Bitmain, Inc. involves the self-described inventor of bitcoin on one side, the operator of bitcoin.com on the other side, the world’s largest mining pools, and the Bitcoin Cash...

Apple v. Pepper: Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Consumer Claims Under Indirect-Purchaser Rule

Posted  05/15/19
By Harrison J. McAvoy
The Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision in the Apple v. Pepper case, where iPhone owners are accusing Apple of monopolizing the retail market for iOS applications, or apps. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, holding that iPhone owners have standing to pursue a claim for damages against Apple under the federal antitrust laws.  The decision has significant implications in terms of both the...

Brexit's Potential Impact on the UK Payments Industry

Posted  05/8/19
Like many around the world we have followed the trials and tribulations of Brexit with great interest.  It is beyond the scope of this blog to enter into the fraught territory of predicting the United Kingdom’s future relationship with Europe.  However, we have been following Brexit’s potential impact on payments regulations in the United Kingdom given the potential impact to UK merchants and Fintechs.  Below...

Does the Token Taxonomy Act Offer “Security” for Blockchain?

Posted  04/29/19
By Matthew Vaccaro
Blockchain and cryptocurrency, which some call the most innovative technology since the internet, should be dominating America’s tech industry. But it isn’t. A lack of regulatory certainty combined with inconsistent guidance from the SEC and the courts has crypto-startups flourishing overseas instead of right here at home. As a result, the Token Taxonomy Act (“TTA”) has been reintroduced in the House of...

TCH Just Made the Case for a Federal Reserve Real-Time Payments Alternative

Posted  04/18/19
By Jeffrey I. Shinder
For many years, The Clearing House (“TCH”) has occupied an unusual space in the payments industry.  Owned by 26 of the largest banks in the United States, TCH is uniquely capable of deploying a set of payment rails that could be transformative.  Few can match what TCH brings to the table.  TCH operates a wire transfer platform (CHIPS), an ACH network (EPN), a check imaging system and, most consequentially, a...

PSD2 and the Future of Payment Services in Europe

Posted  04/17/19
Open Banking is a major topic of discussion in the United States as a potential solution to the lack of competition in the marketplace.  The European payments services directive (“PSD2”) is the most comprehensive Open Banking initiative we are aware of, and its progress is a good barometer of whether such regulations can successfully introduce new competition in payments.  Our London office prepared the...

Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Earthport – A Good Test for Antitrust in the 21st Century

Posted  04/10/19
By Jeffrey I. Shinder
As the 2020 Presidential election begins to heat up, something unusual is happening – antitrust policy is being bandied about as an election issue.  The reason for this is simple.  We live in an era of increasing concentrations of wealth and industrial power.  While the impulse to look at antitrust as part of the solution makes perfect sense, many of the proposals on the table, including the suggestion by one...

Adyen Offers PSD2 Payments to European Merchants, and U.S. Merchants Should Take Notice

Posted  04/10/19
By David Golden
Adyen (Surinamese for "start over again") is a growing Netherlands-based payment platform. Adyen is among the leading providers whose business model is designed to capitalize on the European Union’s Payment Service Directive (“PSD2”), which requires banks to offer application programming interfaces (“APIs”) for third parties to initiate direct bank-to-merchant payments.  The company recently announced a...

Does the Apple Card Signal Apple’s Plan to Ultimately Disrupt the Payments Industry?

Posted  04/3/19
By Jeffrey I. Shinder
Apple made big news last week when it announced its entry into subscription services, ranging from news to video streaming services.  Antitrust commentators, justifiably, expressed concerns that Apple might exploit the market power it enjoys via its dominant platform to undermine competition in those industries.  Obscured by the mainstream press attention regarding Apple’s foray into subscription services was...

The Arrival of the China Pays

Posted  04/3/19
By Kristian Soltes
The payments news last week was dominated by Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook promised that its newly introduced Apple Card and its Apple Pay platform will “transform another fundamental method of payment.” But many payments professionals are equally intrigued by the steady unveiling of potentially more impactful disruptors. These disruptors come not from the innovation labs at Cupertino, but from China. Two companies,...
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