WEEKLY ROUNDUP - 05.02.2021

Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news

It’s the beginning of the shortest month of the year, and we are focussing on some global data this week, looking at the increase in fraud in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the pandemic has also affected the payment cards market. Finally, we are looking at the news that the UK Financial Conduct Authority is going to be regulating Buy Now Pay Later schemes.

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.

  • Account takeover explosion – incidents increased 20% compared to 2019
  •  Global plastic cards market loses $3 billion amid COVID-19 disruption
  •  BNPL companies to become FCA-regulated


Account takeover explosion – incidents increased 20% compared to 2019

According to the Fraud Prevention report from Kaspersky, more than half of all fraudulent transactions in 2020 were account takeover - an increase from 34% in 2019 to 54% in 2020.

With more people than ever now working remotely, fraudsters are taking the new norm and using it to their advantage.

The report also looked at security investments when it comes to budgets - of those Kaspersky asked, 71% are planning to increase their budget over the next 3 years, 17% are keeping it at the same level as it is currently and the remaining 12% are considering cutting security budgets, believing that they have spent sufficient funds in this area already and have solved key security issues.


Global plastic cards market lose $3 billion amid COVID-19 disruption

A new report from the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) revealed that the plastic cards manufacturing industry saw a global decline of $3 billion in 2020. The 2020 Global Card Market and Personalization and Fulfilment Statistics revealed that the global card manufacturing market has decreased 10.8% from 2019, now being valued at $24 billion.

ICMA Founder, Emeritus and industry advisor Al Vrancart said: “The reports account for a bad year for the global plastic card manufacturing industry as a result of the pandemic and the impact of technology. The only good news is that the value of cards produced in North America increased because of the penetration of contactless cards in the US market. But remember, the rest of the world including Canada and the Caribbean has had contactless cards for several years.”


BNPL companies to become FCA-regulated

As Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payment schemes have gained traction in the UK, the UK Government has now announced that BNPL credit agreements will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The aim of the new regulations is to stop consumers from getting into debts that they cannot easily pay back.

BNPL providers will now need to undertake affordability checks before agreeing to lend funds and will need to ensure that customers are treated fairly if they are struggling with the repayments. Having the FCA involved also means that consumers will be able to approach the Financial Ombudsman Service should they have a negative experience with their payments service.

8.6 million Brits state that they plan to use BNPL services in the future, with 9.5 million saying that they avoid buying from retailers who do not offer that option, according to Finder.com. While, The Woolard Review found that many consumers are not applying the same level of scrutiny and risk to BNPL schemes, not viewing them as a form of credit.