New product will help support accountancy practices and their clients.
Wolters Kluwer, Tax & Accounting UK has today announced that it has finalised an agreement with Compliance Technology Solutions B.V. to resell a new GDPR compliance product. This application, called CCH GDPR Compliance ensures businesses and organisations understand data protection, and simplifies the process and maintenance of GDPR compliance. The agreement means that Wolters Kluwer will sell the product to its customers and will handle all first line support enquiries.
The product is checklist driven for most areas of preparation, prompting the user on the steps that they need to take as well as providing useful guidance around the GDPR. In addition, the solution allows organisations to document the data they hold, processes they have followed to prepare for the GDPR, develop their privacy and other policies, control and monitor subject access requests and record and notify the ICO of breaches.
The EU-wide data protection regulation known as the GDPR comes into effect on 25th May 2018. It regulates how companies protect the personal data of EU data subjects and will introduce disruptive challenges for many organisations. Despite the looming deadline, many organisations have not yet adopted a policy to address new privacy regulations and are simply not prepared to meet their obligations.
At the end of 2017, Wolters Kluwer, Tax & Accounting UK conducted research into levels of preparedness – specifically across the UK accountancy industry. This research discovered that while 87 per cent of respondents stated that they understood the basic principles of existing data protection legislation, a worrying 64 per cent of survey respondents had only conducted basic research and appreciates only the most rudimentary changes that the GDPR will bring. An additional 22 per cent knew what GDPR stood for but had little broader understanding of the impact and potential consequences of the regulation. This left just 14 per cent who classified themselves as knowledgeable about the GDPR.
These findings are consistent with recent independent surveys which have confirmed that the position has not significantly changed since. For example, as recently as February, research undertaken by the Federation of Small Businesses found that over a third (33 per cent) of small businesses had not started preparing for the introduction of the GDPR while a further third (35 per cent) were only in the early stages of preparations.
Andrew Guy, IT Director at French Duncan and a Wolters Kluwer customer said: “GDPR introduces a new principle of accountability. It’s not enough to just comply with the regulations – you have to be able to demonstrate compliance and prove the governance measures you’ve put in place. The GDPR compliance software will make this much easier to do and it’s just one of the ways in which it will help us.”
Claire Carter, Managing Director, Tax & Accounting, Wolters Kluwer UK commented: “We put our customers at the heart of all that we do and, in light of the GDPR, we resolved to do all that we could to support accountancy practices and their clients. Wolters Kluwer software already supports customers on their journey to GDPR compliance enabling them to respond to data access, erasure and portability requests as efficiently as possible but, through this partnership, we are further supporting their GDPR preparation and ongoing compliance. GDPR compliance is a must and, having researched the market, we know that CCH GDPR Compliance is the right choice for our customers and their clients. It will simplify and demonstrate compliance, allowing practices to focus on the value-add, advisory services that they are offering to clients.”
Nick Eckert, co-founder and Business Development Manager at Compliance Technology Solutions B.V. added: “Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK recognises that being GDPR compliant is essential for accountancy practices and their clients and we’re delighted to enter into this agreement with them.”
Russia’s Vladimir Putin to address World Economic Forum on Wednesday
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the World Economic Forum (WEF) by video conference on Wednesday, Russian news agencies cited his spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Monday.
The event, which gathers business chiefs, political thinkers and state leaders, is being held online due to COVID-19.
Putin’s appearance is likely to be contentious with critics at a time when the West is weighing possible new sanctions against Russia over its treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
“I confirm Davos on the 27th,” the RIA news agency quoted Peskov as saying, a reference to the Swiss ski resort which has hosted WEF events in previous years.
Putin did not feature on the pre-conference agenda.
The Interfax news agency said Putin had not taken part in a similar event since 2009 when he was Russian prime minister.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin/Alexander Marrow; Editing by Tom Balmforth/Andrew Osborn)
ECB launches small climate-change unit to lead Lagarde’s green push
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is setting up a small team dedicated to climate change to spearhead its efforts to help the transition to a greener economy in the euro zone, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.
Lagarde has made the environment a priority since taking the helm at the ECB, taking a number of steps to include climate considerations in the central bank’s work as the euro zone’s banking watchdog and main financial institution.
She is now creating a team of around 10 ECB employees, reporting directly to her, to set the central bank’s agenda on climate-related topics.
“The climate change centre provides the structure we need to tackle the issue with the urgency and determination that it deserves,” Lagarde said in a speech.
She said that climate change belonged in the ECB’s remit as it could affect inflation and obstruct the flow of credit to the economy.
The ECB said earlier on Monday it would invest some of its own funds, which total 20.8 billion euros ($25.3 billion) and include capital paid in by euro zone countries, reserves and provisions, in a green bond fund run by the Bank for International Settlement.
More significantly, ECB policymakers are also debating what role climate considerations should play in the institution’s multi-trillion euro bond-buying programme.
So far the ECB has bought corporate bonds based on their outstanding amounts but Lagarde has said the bank might have to consider a more active approach to correct the market’s failure to price in climate risk.
“Our strategy review enables us to consider more deeply how we can continue to protect our mandate in the face of (climate) risks and, at the same time, strengthen the resilience of monetary policy and our balance sheet,” Lagarde said.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
What to expect in 2021: Top trends shaping the future of transportation
By Lee Jones, Director of Sales – Grocery, QSR and Selected Accounts for Northern Europe at Ingenico, a Worldline brand
The pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to undergo digital transformation, which is pivotal in the digital economy. In 2020, we saw the shift to online and cashless payments accelerated as a result of increased social distancing and nationwide restrictions.
The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. In this context, what should we expect this year and beyond, in terms of developments across key sectors, including transport, parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging?
Mobility as a service (MaaS) and the future of transportation
Social distancing and lockdown measures have brought about a real change in public habits when it comes to transportation. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.
Technological advancements, alongside open payments, have unlocked new possibilities across multiple industries and will continue to have a strong impact. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey. In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.
Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is MaaS – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose. Additionally, payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. What remains critical is balancing the need for a fast and convenient payment with safety and data privacy in order to deliver superior customer experiences.
The EV charging market and the accelerating pace of change
The EV charging market is moving quickly and represents a large opportunity for payments in the future. EVs are gradually becoming more popular, with registrations for EVs overtaking those of their diesel counterparts for the first time in European history this year. What’s more, forecasts indicate that by 2030, there will be almost 42 million public charging points deployed worldwide, as compared with 520,000 registered in 2019.
Our experience and expertise in this industry have enabled us to better understand but also address the challenges and complexities of fuel and EV payments. The current alternating current (AC) based chargers are set to be replaced by their direct charging (DC) counterparts, but merchants must still be able to guarantee payment for the charging provider. Power always needs to be converted from AC to DC when charging an electric vehicle, the technical difference between AC charging and DC charging is whether the power gets converted outside or inside the vehicle.
By offering innovative payment solutions to this market segment, we enable service operators to incorporate payments smoothly into their omnichannel customer experience that also allows businesses to easily develop acceptance and provide a unique omnichannel strategy for EV charging payments. From proximity to online payments, it will support businesses by offering a unique hardware solution optimized for PSD2 and SCA. It will manage both near field communication (NFC) cards and payments from cards/smartphones, as well as a single interface to manage all payments, after sales support and receipt with both ePortal and eReceipts.
Cashless options for parking payments
The ‘new normal’ is now partly defined by a shift in consumer preference for cashless, contactless and mobile or embedded payments. These are now the preferred payment choices when it comes to completing the check-in and check-out process. They are a time-saver and a more seamless way to pay.
Drivers are more self-reliant and empowered than ever before, having adopted technologies that work to make their life increasingly efficient. COVID-19 has given rise to both ePayment and omnichannel solutions gaining in popularity. This has been due to ticketless access control based on license plate recognition or the tap-in/tap-out experience, as well as embedded payments or mobile solutions for street parking.
These smart solutions help consider parking services more broadly as a part of overall mobility or shopping experience. Therefore, operators must rapidly adapt and scale new operational practices; accept electronic payment, update new contactless limits, introduce additional payments means, refund the user or even to reflect changing customer expectations to keep pace.
2021: the journey ahead
This year, we expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society across these key sectors, making the buying experience quicker and more convenient overall.
As a result, merchants and operators must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.
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