Last week, the Members of European Parliament voted on the Commission proposals for a multilateral interchange fee (MIF) regulation and for the revision of the Payment Services Directive (PSD). The votes were cast at the end of the Parliamentary term and consolidate the position of the European Parliament. Continue Reading →
Pierre Petit, deputy director general (payments and market infrastructure) of the European Central Bank, has outlined the ECB’s views on European retail payments. He made his remarks at the EPCA Summit 2014, where he defined the role of the European Retail Payments Board (ERPB) and the follow-up on the SecurePay recommendations on access to payment accounts.
Earlier this year, the Wolfsberg Group, a group of the largest international financial institutions, published its Guidance on Mobile and Internet Payment Services. The aim of the paper is to assist financial institutions in their risk assessments for the wide range of companies that offer mobile and internet payment services.
A week ago, the New America Foundation organised a meeting on the topic of virtual currencies and regulation in New York. During the meeting, a speech was given by Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). He outlined the current thinking on the envisaged bitlicense for virtual currencies in New York.
Last week, the European central bank published the assessment guide for the security of Internet payments. The guide contains a list of the assessment questions that assists payment service providers with the implementation of the European requirements for the security of Internet payments. Payment Service Providers must demonstrate their compliance with these requirements by January 2015.
Yesterday the European parliament formally approved the European Commission proposal that allows Payment Service Providers six more months in which they may process payment transactions in euros in non-SEPA-formats. The regulation will apply retroactively from 31 January 2014.
In July this year, the European Commission published a proposal for a revised Payment Services Directive (PSD). The proposal requires ‘strong customer authentication’ when someone makes an electronic payment transaction. This validates identity by at least two of the following factors: knowledge, possession and inherence. These are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and the process also protects the confidentiality of the authentication data.
This week, a number of regulators have provided more insight into their stance on bitcoin, the digital exchange mechanism. In general, the view is that bitcoins are not regulated and anyone who chooses to use them for purposes of exchange bears a risk in doing so.
This week the Presidency of the European Union released a compromise text on the Payments Account Directive. It contains explicit wording that limits the scope, in order not to include payment services with a limited payment functionality. The present wording of Article 1.4 is:
This Directive shall apply to payment service providers located in the Union. Payment service providers that operate solely as online e-payment accounts providers are excluded from the scope of this directive.
We welcome this change in the scope as it is step forward in ensuring that this Directive does not unduly burden the providers of specific payment products.
Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, today held a speech at a joint conference by the European Central Bank and the Banque de France, “Retail Payments at a Crossroads: Economics, Strategies and Future Policies”. Although this is a conference that focuses primarily on scientific research in the area of payments, his speech provides some insight into the policy issues that are now top-of-mind for the ECB.