On 2 June 2015, the European Council published the compromise text of the envisaged recast of the Payment Services Directive (PSD II) agreed by the Council and the European Parliament. The compromise text has to be confirmed by the Council and officially approved – which is expected to occur in October 2015 – by the Parliament. After publication in the Official Journal, Member States will have two years to transpose the new rules into national law. The PSD II will adapt existing rules to emerging and innovative payment services, including online and mobile payments.

In the following, we will describe aspects of the PSD II that are, if the directive is officially confirmed and approved without material changes, of particular relevance from a regulatory perspective. These changes will result in an extended scope of the licence requirement applying to business models with are currently not subject to payment services regulation.

Extended scope of licence requirement

The PSD II defines two new types of payment services, and includes them thereby in the scope of the Directive, with the result that the providers of such services will also be subject to a licence requirement. The newly regulated services are payment initiation services and account information services.

Pursuant to the PSD II, payment initiation services are defined as a service to initiate a payment order at the request of the payment service user with respect to a payment account held at another payment service provider. The payment initiation service provider acts as a facilitator to enable the transfer of funds by transmitting the transaction details and confirming that the payer has sufficient funds credited to his account to execute the transaction in question. However, the service provider will not hold user’s funds at any stage of the payment chain.

Oct-Dec 2015 Issue

Noerr LLP