The 2nd EMA Conference on ‘The Future of Payments in Europe’, took place on 28 and 29 November 2007 at the Marriot West India Quay hotel in London. It focused on the forthcoming implementation by European member states of the Payment Services Directive. It brought together regulators and industry representatives for a discussion of the challenges member states face during implementation. The most significant issue to have come out of the conference was the need for a synchronised approach, providing a consistent legal regime for products. The flexible approach that the Directive provides for member state discretion, needed to be balanced against the need for a uniform consumer experience and legal clarity for service providers.
Discussions were had on the prudential framework for Payment Institutions, the likely time frames, membership for PI’s of payment schemes, including the card schemes, and the contribution of this new regime to competition and consumer value.
The relative advantages of treating micro enterprises as consumers were set out, and the UKdescribed the rationale for this proposal, and the limited ability of these businesses to influence contractual terms offered by payment service providers.
The scope of payment services received much attention as did the liability and obligations of PSP’s and the varying disclosure obligations set out in Titles III and IV of the Directive.
Participants had numerous opportunities to discuss issues of concern with others, be they fellow service providers, regulators or service provider professionals. It closed on the second day, with a free ranging debate on the future of payments, and the likely contribution of the new regime to these changes.
A printable version of the conference programme