On 10 February, the European Central Bank published its legal opinion on the European Commission’s proposals for a revised Directive (PSDII) that aims to regulate the European Market for electronic payments. The ECB strongly supports the objectives of the proposal as it aims to widen the list of services to include payment initiation services and account information services.
The ECB supports the measures proposed as it believes it will foster innovation and competition in retail payments. The developments in the European e-commerce landscape have played a role of importance in the ECB’s decision.
Payment initiation services are those in which a third party provider (TPP) initiates a payment at the request of the payer. It features often in online purchases as an alternative to credit card transfers. Account information services are able to provide consolidated information on different accounts that might be held by one individual, helping to provide a comprehensive view of its financial situation.
Reacting on the statement by the ECB, Paul Alfing, Chair of the e-Payments Working Committee of Ecommerce Europe, states that: “We warmly welcome the proposals to reform the European payments industry. Third party providers can accelerate product development and foster cross-border competition, contributing to a true Digital Single Market. For consumers, more competition should make the payment process more transparent and it should result in less additional costs”.
The full text of the ECB’s opinion is found here.