European Parliament votes for more innovation in the payments market


Ecommerce Europe is pleased to report that the Payment Services Directive 2 has been adopted by the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority. Ecommerce Europe has continuously urged policy makers to adopt the legislative text which holds great potential to stimulate consumer trust in online cross-border payments. However, after the vote there is still much work to be done by regulators to ensure online merchants can benefit from a pan-European framework for online payments.

Balance between security and convenience

The Members of European Parliament adopted the current legislative text with 578 votes in favour to 29 against, with 52 abstentions. Paul Alfing, Chair of the Ecommerce Europe e-Payments Working Committee, explains: “Both consumers and online merchants need to be ensured of secure and reliable payments, and we look forward to work together with regulators to shape technical guidelines that guarantee this safety. Nevertheless, the new rules should not lead to excessive costs or efforts for merchants and consumers. Research has shown that many consumers will leave the check-out process when a payment becomes too complicated”.

Next steps in the legislative process

Before the development of the technical guidelines, both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union need to officially endorse the PSD2. The Council is expected to vote on the text mid-November, after which the European Banking Authority will launch a public consultation and will start drafting the technical guidelines. When the update of the Payment Services Directive has been approved by the policy makers in Brussels, the European Banking Authority will have to draft technical guidelines for implementation of the Directive.

Ecommerce Europe remains active to protect the sector

Ecommerce Europe supports the expanded role the PSD2 gives to the European Banking Authority (EBA) in issuing common and secure standards on authentication and availability of funds, as long as these standards are developed through consultation of relevant stakeholders as the guidelines will have great consequences for e-commerce businesses.Ecommerce Europe remains in close contact with European policy makers and the European Banking Authority through formal and informal consultation fora to ensure the voice of the online merchants is heard in the process of drafting the guidelines, as the association has grave concerns that the standards will hurt the e-commerce sector.

More information

You can read the press release Ecommerce Europe sent out to policy makers ahead of the vote here. For more information about Ecommerce Europe’s priorities for a better policy landscape that fosters e-commerce growth, please see the Ecommerce Europe Priority Paper (2015).