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The Future of Cross-Border Payments

June 28, 2024July 15th, 2024No Comments
Mariel Rhetta
Content Strategist at Rutland FX
Published on: (Updated ) - minute read

As financial services continue to evolve, one significant trend is the push towards more transparent pricing models. Regulators worldwide are increasingly focused on ensuring that consumers are fully informed about the costs associated with financial transactions, including cross-border payments. This article will explore recent regulatory trends in the cross-border payments industry, highlighting developments in the UK, the EU, and the US, and their implications for businesses and consumers.

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Current Regulation of Cross-Border Payments in the UK

In the UK, the regulation of cross-border payments and currency conversion services ensures transparency, fairness, and consumer protection. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) oversees these regulations to promote market integrity and safeguard consumer interests.

Transparency and Disclosure:
  • Exchange Rates and Fees: The FCA mandates that firms clearly disclose exchange rates and any additional fees associated with currency conversion, allowing consumers to understand the total cost of transactions before they are executed.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice: The FCA recognises industry best practices through voluntary codes such as the “FX Global Code”, promoting good practices in the foreign exchange market.
Consumer Protection:
  • Fair Treatment: The FCA enforces standards to protect consumers from unfair practices such as making sure financial products and services are as advertised and described truthfully and transparently, without deceptive claims or hidden details.
  • Dispute Resolution: Consumers have access to mechanisms like the Financial Ombudsman Service to resolve disputes related to financial services.
Laws E-Money Institutions Must Follow

E-Money Institutions (EMIs) in the UK are subject to a wide range of laws and regulations. These regulations are designed to ensure the integrity, security, and transparency of electronic money services. Below is an overview of the key laws and what they cover:

  • The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: Governs the overall regulatory framework for financial services in the UK.
  • Directive 2009/110/EC of the European Parliament: Provides the legal framework for the issuance of electronic money within the EU.
  • The Payment Service Regulations 2017: Implements the EU Payment Services Directive into UK law.
  • Regulation (EC) No 924/2009: Aims to equalise charges for cross-border and domestic euro payments.
  • Payments in Euro (Credit Transfers and Direct Debits) Regulations 2012: Regulates euro transactions to ensure they are as efficient as domestic transactions.
  • Regulation (EC) No 924/2009: Aims to equalise charges for cross-border and domestic euro payments.
  • The SEPA Regulation (Regulation (EU) 260/2012): Standardises euro payments across Europe to create a single euro payments area.
  • The Payment Accounts Regulations 2015: Ensures transparency and comparability of payment account fees.
  • EU Payment Accounts Directive: Sets common standards for payment accounts across the EU.
  • Data Protection Act 2018: Regulates the processing of personal data within the UK.
  • UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR): Aligns with the EU GDPR to protect personal data and privacy.
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA): Provides measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
  • Terrorism Act 2000: Criminalises terrorism-related activities and imposes obligations to prevent terrorist financing.
  • Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds 2017: Implements AML and CTF measures.
  • Regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions (EU) 2015/751: Caps interchange fees for card payments to reduce costs for consumers.
  • The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2019: Updates and strengthens AML/CTF regulations.
  • The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: Governs the overall regulatory framework for financial services in the UK.
  • The Payment Services Directive (Directive 2015/2366): Establishes rules for payment services across the EU to facilitate efficient and secure payments.
  • The Electronic Money Regulations 2011: Regulates the issuance of electronic money and related activities.

Potential Future Regulations: Insights from the EU and the US

The regulatory frameworks in the European Union and the United States provide valuable insights into potential future regulations in the UK.

European Union’s Cross-Border Payments Regulation (EU Regulation 2021/1230):
  • Equalising Charges: The EU regulation requires that charges for cross-border payments in euros be aligned with those for domestic payments within member states. Adopting a similar approach in the UK could ensure fair treatment of consumers and businesses engaging in cross-border transactions, reducing costs and fostering greater economic integration.
  • Transparency in Currency Conversion: The EU mandates that banks disclose the real exchange rates and additional fees for currency conversion. Implementing similar transparency measures in the UK could help consumers make better-informed choices and increase trust in financial services.
US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Actions:
  • Clear Fee Disclosures: The CFPB has issued guidance requiring banks to provide clear disclosures about fees, preventing hidden charges and enabling consumers to compare costs effectively. Similar measures in the UK could enhance consumer protection and market transparency.
  • Consumer Rights: Emphasising consumer rights in financial transactions, as the CFPB does, ensures that consumers are protected from unfair practices and have access to comprehensive information about financial services. This could serve as a model for future regulatory enhancements in the UK.


Consumer Duty and Fair Pricing

In addition to these potential future regulations, the FCA’s Consumer Duty rules emphasise fair, value-based pricing strategies. Firms must ensure that their pricing strategies are clear and fair from the outset and on an ongoing basis. This aligns with the broader objective of enhancing consumer protection and ensuring transparency in financial services.


The FX Global Code (July 2021)

The FX Global Code is a set of global principles of good practice in the foreign exchange market, established to promote integrity and effective functioning of the wholesale foreign exchange market. Released in July 2021, it provides guidelines for governance, execution, risk management, information sharing, and compliance. Adhering to this code helps firms align with best practices, enhancing market transparency and protecting client interests.

What This Means for Rutland FX

Rutland FX is well-positioned to embrace existing and potential regulatory changes and future developments. We already adhere to providing a transparent pricing model that offers clearly quoted figures before the execution of any transaction.

The quote we present to clients, whether over the phone, by email, or via the online platform, includes the following information:

  1. The estimated amount of the transfer in the currency of the customer’s account.
  2. The exchange rate.
  3. The estimated amount to be transferred to the beneficiary in the currency used by the beneficiary.

The quote provided to the client and agreed upon at the point of trade is identical or better than the final price as noted in the confirmation email and the final price paid by the customer. Generally, if there is an improvement in the rate between the time of us quoting you and you accepting, we pass on the better rate to you. This commitment to transparency and fairness aligns Rutland FX with potential future regulations, ensuring continued compliance and customer satisfaction.


The future of the cross-border payments industry in the UK will likely be shaped by evolving regulations aimed at enhancing transparency, consumer protection, and market competitiveness. By adopting best practices from the EU and the US, the UK can foster a more efficient and fair financial environment, benefiting both consumers and businesses. As regulatory frameworks continue to develop, ongoing collaboration between regulators, financial institutions, and consumers will be essential to ensure that the cross-border payments landscape remains robust and equitable.

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