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Casting a shadow

Facebook's cryptocurrency project is structured with future regulatory battles in mind, with the social network stressing it is distinct from the currency.

Regulators are already attacking Facebook's plans, with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying Libra must not become a "sovereign currency" and members of the German parliament warning Facebook will become a "shadow bank," reports The Verge. Le Maire has called on the G7 to issue a report on Facebook's cryptocurrency in the next month.

The Libra cryptocurrency is scheduled to launch in 2020, and Facebook says its role will be to build financial services through a subsidiary called Calibra. Libra's partners include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber — companies that regularly attract regulatory pressure on their own.

Easing up?

India will study criticism of its local data storage rules, a move that could lead to the rules being eased.

Mastercard in particular has slammed the rules, claiming the regulations hurt innovation and increase security risks. India's decision to review the rules comes as the U.S. removed some trade privileges as part of the broader trade war, and India responded with tariffs on U.S. goods, reports Reuters.

The political battles come at a time when India's digital payments market is expanding, attracting investment from foreign fintechs.

Reconciled

Italy's banks will use a distributed ledger to support reconciliations by March 2020, which the banks hope will allow a constant view of bank payments instead of the monthly reconciliations under the current system.

The deployment is part of Spunta, an Italian Banking Association project that is attempting to embed distributed ledgers in interbank transactions.

The IBA also hopes to add processing speed accommodate the expansion of digital payments and financial services as investment in financial IT is increasing at about 6% yearly, reports Finextra.

Real-time speeds up

The Clearing House's real time payments network (RTP) has picked up more momentum, with Berkshire Bank of Massachusetts upgrading its payment technology to support it, and payment technology company Payrailz agreeing to offer RTP to its mix of credit union and small to medium-sized bank clients.

The RTP network hasn't expanded as fast at TCH would like, but smaller banks are starting to join the network, giving it a recent boost.

TCH is also building its network as the Federal Reserve weights a more direct role in pushing faster payments in the U.S.

From the Web

Japan Post Bank to cap international transfers to counter money laundering
The Japan Times | Tue June 18, 2019 - Japan Post Bank Co. plans to set a limit on over-the-counter international cash transfers of ¥5 million ($46,000) to combat money laundering. Japan Post Bank, with around 120 million account holders, the most among domestic banks, currently has no limit on overseas remittances and is seeking to address concerns that such transfers could be used for illicit activities, including the financing of terrorism.

How Amazon and Google are helping Western Union fight the multibillion-dollar fintech threat
CNBC | Tue June 18, 2019 - More than a century and a half later, Denver-based Western Union is the leader in international money transfers, generating revenue of $5.5 billion in 2018 and doing business with tech giants Amazon and Google.

Real-Time Payments Aren't Just Faster, They Are Change Agents
Forbes | Tue June 18, 2019 - Real-time payments (RTP) aren’t just faster, they will change the way businesses operate, according to Citizens Bank, which surveyed more than 150 businesses ranging in size from $10 million to more than $500 million.

More from PaymentsSource

Facebook's Libra turns foes into allies in regulatory face-off
Facebook is focusing the initial discussions around its cryptocurrency project as a preemptive strike against the privacy and legal concerns the public and politicians have about the huge social network.

Facebook's road to Libra: 2009 to 2019
Facebook's Libra project didn't come from nowhere. The social network has a long history of experimenting with digital payments, and launched a separate (and ill-fated) digital currency a decade ago.

Canada's transit fare plan could loosen debit card rules nationwide
Payments Canada is proposing to allow delayed transaction authorization to enable debit cards to be used in open-loop transit — and the change could affect far more than commuters.

Dunkin’ teams with Grubhub to offer delivery service to rival Starbucks
In a bid to keep pace with coffee archrival Starbucks’ delivery and mobile order-ahead services, Dunkin’ is working with Grubhub to roll out New York delivery.

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