In today’s top stories from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the European Union is preparing new rules for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) companies that would reduce their transparency requirements.
Also, the Bank of England gives lenders a testimony about their bankruptcy plans, and Moroccan company Chari acquires retail app Diago.
The EU Council’s amendments to the consumer credit law favor BNPL providers
The EU Council has agreed to revise the Consumer Credit Directive (CDD) with new rules that could reduce transparency requirements for BNPL providers.
The existing CCD, launched in 2008, covers most consumer loans between €200 and €75,000.
However, loans under €200 are not in the scope, meaning most BNPL loans are not covered by the existing rules. The proposed change would change that by including BNPL programs, payday loans, short-term overdrafts, interest-free loans and loans provided by crowdlending platforms.
BOE: British banks need to show they can “safely” fail
Three of the UK’s largest lenders have more work to do to prove they can fail without harming customers and taxpayers, the Bank of England (BOE) has announced.
The BOE has conducted an assessment to determine whether HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Chartered have made the right preparations to deal with their – theoretical – collapse.
The regulator made it clear that while there are many areas where lenders could improve, they could potentially fail while still “remaining open and continuing to provide essential banking services to the economy.”
Morocco’s Chari buys retail app Diago
Moroccan B2B e-commerce platform Chari has acquired Diago, a retail app headquartered in Ivory Coast.
The all-stock deal will retain Diago’s founders, Amidou Diarra and Ali Ouattara, as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and CEO, with the founders overseeing local business growth before expanding into other sub-Saharan African countries.
“The entire Diago team will have Chari’s full support capabilities,” said Cyrille Jacques, Chari’s vice president, who is leading the company’s international expansion. “Chari’s back office in Casablanca will help the Diago team set up operations, IT tools and customer service.”
UK Government Pushes Crypto Sandbox, Stablecoin Regulation
In a bid to become a global “crypto hub,” the UK is preparing to begin testing crypto blockchain technology in financial market activities such as trading and settlement.
The country’s Treasury says the UK is taking a number of steps to encourage the use of blockchain and crypto assets, and is creating a friendly regulatory environment to attract investors.
Gwyneth Nurse, the department’s director-general for financial services, said the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), the underlying technology that uses crypto assets, is a key priority for creating financial market innovation. For this reason, the UK will launch a regulatory sandbox in 2023 to test DLT projects.
CEO of MFS Africa: Prepaid cards are opening up the world of online payments to millions of people in Africa
The ability to make seamless international payments varies from location to location, an imbalance that payments company MFS Africa aims to correct.
Speaking to PYMNTS, MFS Africa Founder and CEO Dare Okoudjou said his company is working to fix the problem, among other things, by acquiring US FinTech Global Technology Partners (GTP) to provide access to global companies like Netflix and Amazon Millions to bid Africa lacked the card credentials to deal with it online.
The deal will allow consumers and merchants in the region who store money on mobile phones or digital wallets to receive a virtual prepaid card to make seamless card payments to these global companies that have previously bypassed them.
FLEETCOR acquires UK cross-border payments provider Global Reach Group
Global business payments company FLEETCOR Technologies will acquire Global Reach Group, a UK-based cross-border payments provider
FLEETCOR says the transaction will help strengthen its cross-border payment capabilities, with the sale expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year.
“Global Reach is a fantastic addition to our existing cross-border business that can be rapidly integrated into our global business,” said Ron Clarke, Chairman and CEO of FLEETCOR. “We anticipate the deal will be immediately profitable upon closing, with additional synergies to deliver in year two.”