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Alkan Shenyuz, a barrister and specialist in banking and financial services looks at the new EU Payment Services Directive and its impact on the regulation of mobile payment transactions in the UK and the EU.
In a move to create a single market for electronic payments in the European Union, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Directive on Payment Services (known as PSD2) in October 2015. Member States are required to adopt it as national law by 13 January 2018. PSD2 incorporates and repeals directive 2007/64/EC (otherwise known as the Payment Services Directive), which provided the legal basis for the creation of an EU-wide single market for payment services. Certain provisions of PSD2 have been delegated to the European Banking Authority, such as the development of Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), and will come into force up to 18 months later.
By way of background, the Payment Services Directive was introduced in 2007 and was brought into UK law in 2009 through the Payment Services Regulations (PSRs). Its objectives were to:
The introduction of these new types of services represents a major shift in the way payments are processed will allow retailers and consumers to use organisations such as those that provide mobile applications to access account information or to initiate payments. This will allow users to use regulated payment service providers other than their own banks to meet their specific banking needs. For example, business users may allow third party providers to link with their payroll systems for faster more efficient processing. Consumers, on the other hand, will be able to give access to, say Amazon, to communicate directly with their banks to authorise a payment. This change to the way the electronic payment operates today (whereby Amazon would usually act through an acquirer who would in turn contact the consumer’s card scheme) is likely to lead to faster payment processing and imminent settlement.
Furthermore, account information services will be able to provide businesses access to all their account information on a single platform and generate analysis which may help them to make improvements to payables and receivables. There are also new rules in the event of unauthorised payments which make the account provider liable to restore the payment to the payer.
The changes envisaged by PSD2 are likely to mean that existing payment service providers will have to review their business plans to understand how exactly they will be affected and how they can best adapt to the new regulatory framework. There is likely to be a significant up-front expenditure for a payment service provider to ensure that they are compliant as well as additional costs to the transaction process which may ultimately be passed onto consumers. UK payment service providers are advised to get in touch with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to discuss the technical standards expected of them.
For further information on PSD2 or if you are a new or existing payment service provider who may be potentially affected by the new regulatory regime, please get in touch with Alkan Shenyuz (firstname.lastname@example.org) or +44 (0)20 7936 5541
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