EC sees new opportunities in modernising payment services
The European Commission (EC) recently put forward fresh proposals for bringing payments and the wider financial sector into the digital age. The EC said the new rules will further improve consumer protection and competition in electronic payments, and empower consumers to share data in a secure way to access more, better and cheaper financial products and services.
The payment services market has changed significantly in recent years. Electronic payments in the EU had grown to be worth €240 trillion by 2021, compared with €184.2 trillion in 2017. This trend was only accelerated by Covid-19. New providers, enabled by digital technologies and by Open Banking, have entered the market. At the same time, more sophisticated types of fraud have also emerged, putting consumers at risk and damaging trust.
The EC’s package responds to these developments by seeking to ensure that the EU’s financial sector is fit for purpose and capable of adapting to the risks and opportunities the ongoing digital transformation presents.
The EC’s proposals will amend and modernise the current Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which will become PSD3, and also establish a new Payment Services Regulation (PSR).
The proposed package consists of measures intended to:
- Combat and mitigate payment fraud by enabling payment service providers to share fraud-related information, increasing consumers’ awareness, strengthening customer authentication rules, extending refund rights of consumers who fall victim to fraud, and creating a system for checking alignment of payees’ IBAN numbers with the account names mandatory for all credit transfers
- Improve consumer rights, in cases, for example, where their funds are temporarily blocked, improve transparency on their account statements, and provide more transparent information on ATM charges
- Further level the playing field between banks and non-banks, in particular by allowing non-bank payment service providers access to all EU payment systems, with appropriate safeguards, and securing those providers’ rights to a bank account.