PayPal, Ripple join peaceful election group; Euro regulators slam Germany over Wirecard oversight

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Election day

Tuesday was one of the most dramatic election days in U.S. history, given the contentious presidential battle, the pandemic, economic crisis and months of protests. The election count was still in progress as of Wednesday morning, with neither presidential candidate reaching 270 Electoral College votes, the Senate counts incomplete and the Democrats retaining control of the House of Representatives.

A group of several hundred U.S. companies called The Civic Alliance put out a call for fairness and calm during the election. The alliance includes Ripple, Amazon, Deloitte, Modernist Financial, payment startup Payability, PayPal, and companies in general retail and other industries.

There have been concerns about violence tied to the election, with retailers across the country boarding up windows as a preemptive measure, including brands such as Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, CVS, Target and Macy’s — though as of late Tuesday there were no outbreaks of violence and no credible threats. Several banks and credit unions also boarded up or closed branches.

While most stores pledged to stay open if possible, the anxiety over potential unrest is another hurdle to recovery for businesses that have been hit by months of closures and uneven business flows due to the pandemic and economic crisis.

Lack of oversight

The European Securities and Markets Authority has slammed German regulators for not doing enough to prevent the meltdown of payment processor Wirecard.

The authority cited “deficiencies, inefficiencies and legal and procedural inmediments” among the two bodies responsible, BaFin and The Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel, reports Finextra. There was also reportedly not enough independence of these regulators from issuers and an inappropriate level of attention to Wirecard’s business and whistleblower reports.

German regulators are in the midst of updating practices in the wake of Wirecard’s collapse, which has seen the company sell off several of its units after an accounting scandal.

Short on cash

The Monetary Authority of Singapore plans to stop issuing S$1,000 notes (about $750 USD), contending the large bills are a money laundering and terrorism risk.

The MAS says the move is in line with other nations that have cut back on large denomination notes over security fears, reports the Straits Times, which added the U.S. has stopped issuing notes greater than $100 50 years ago, and the EU stopped issuing 500 Euro notes, which were nicknamed the “Bin Laden” note, in 2016.

Singapore isn’t in a rush, since the ruling won’t go into effect until 2021 and the S$1,000 notes in circulation will still be accepted as legal tender. Singapore, which has an active fintech industry, also wants to encourage greater use of digital payments.

Brexit under the hood

The Financial Conduct Authority has made technical changes designed to accommodate open banking compliance after the U.K. leaves the European Union, potentially leaving fintechs with extra work.

The FCA says U.K.-based third parties need to use an alternative to the eIDAS certificates that third parties are required to use for identification under PSD2. The EU will revoke these certificates after the Brexit separation on Dec. 31.

The FCA’s move means third parties can still provide open banking in the U.K., but will have to locate and use a new certificate.

From the web

Explainer: What’s next for Ant after China suspends $37 billion listing?
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
China’s suspension of Ant Group’s $37 billion listing just days ahead of its stock market debut has thrown the company and its investors into a tailspin and it faces a scramble to try and satisfy financial regulators, analysts say.

Big-tech’s stablecoins may hurt privacy and innovation: ECB
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
A stablecoin managed by a big tech company, like Facebook’s proposed libra, would raise concerns about data protection and even choke financial innovation, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta said on Wednesday.

Crypto wallet app ZenGo to launch debit card
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, November 3, 2020
ZenGo, a mobile app to manage your cryptocurrencies, is about to launch a Visa debit card in the U.S. This isn’t the first crypto-powered debit card — Coinbase announced a U.S. expansion for its debit card just last week. But ZenGo is a non-custodial wallet, which means that you’re in control of your crypto assets.

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