WEEKLY ROUNDUP - 22.05.2020

This week, Brazil has announced that it will be embracing open banking as its central bank enables licensed institutions to share certain customer data, at the customers behest. Brazil is the latest in a long list of countries that have introduced these measures over the last five years. In other news, cyber-attacks are on the rise, recent news reveals, as banks have seen a 238% surge in attacks. In recent weeks, we have covered the growing trends of credit card skimming amidst COVID-19, in addition to the proliferation of fraudsters and scammers as well, now it seems banks, and the financial sector at large, are the latest in a long list of targets for cybercriminals. And finally, the UK’s retail payments industry has formed a task force to assist the British government with the many millions of extra payments it is now having to make.

Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.

 

  • Brazil introduces open banking
  • Banks see a 238% surge in cyber-attacks amid COVID-19
  • UK retail payments industry helps govt deliver COVID-19 support

 

Brazil introduces open banking

Brazil has become the latest country to introduce open banking, having released a new regulation that enables licensed institutions to share customer data. Banks, financial institutions, and others licensed by the Banco Central do Brasil can share registration and transactional data from individuals or legal entities. The central bank is hoping that open banking will not only encourage new players to enter the market, but new business models too. Phased implementation is due to be completed by late 2021.

UK-based open banking specialist, Ozone, is set to begin working with Brazilian ATM network, TecBan, to help FIs in Brazil take advantage of these new changes. Chris Michael, CEO of Ozone, says: “As open banking charts it’s course around the world, we will continue to extend this Global Sandbox and we are excited to be working with TecBan in Brazil.”

 

Banks see a 238% surge in cyber-attacks amid COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, banks have seen a 238% surge in cyber-attacks, according to California-based tech company VMware. Ransomware attacks against the financial sector increased by nine times from the beginning of February to the end of April 2020, with 27% of all cyber-attacks in 2020 targeting either the healthcare sector or the financial sector.

VMware commented that: “Criminals are increasingly sharing resources and information and reinvesting their illicit profits into the development of new, even more destructive capabilities.” They further noted that: “These criminals exploit weaknesses in people, processes and technology to gain a foothold and persist in the network, enabling the ability to transfer funds and exfiltrate sensitive data.”

 

UK retail payments industry helps govt deliver COVID-19 support

The UK’s retail payments industry has set up a taskforce to assist the British government deliver the millions of extra payments it needs to make during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pay.UK has announced that it is working with the government to ensure that payments from Universal Credit accounts, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are still being delivered on time, and to the right people.

Pay.UK, Vocalink, industry trade body UK Finance, and a cross section of UK banks, have come together to create a ‘Retail Payments Taskforce’ to offer knowledge and assistance to the government. In a statement from the taskforce, they described their contributions as: “advising on the different payment options available and recognising the need to move at pace in the most effective way to safely and securely distribute a huge volume of payments to the right people in a concentrated period”.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, says: "The payments industry is committed to helping the country through these difficult times, ensuring that all customers can continue to pay safely and in the way that best suits their needs.”