• The regulation accommodates two new payment services: payment initiation services and account aggregators
  • Gives initiators and aggregators access to bank accounts, with prior authorization from customers
  • The maximum losses that a client must assume in case of unauthorized payment (loss or theft) are reduced from 150 to 50 euros

The Council of Ministers approved in the first round the Draft Bill on Payment Services that transposes European Directive 2015/2366. The new regulation, known as PSD2, creates an integrated framework for this type of services in the European Union and aims to face the new challenges and changes in card operations through the internet or mobile phones as well as to reinforce security in electronic payments.

The European directive is going to introduce different innovations. First, two new payment services will be accommodated. On the one hand, to the payment initiation services, which are intermediaries, generally between merchants and consumers, which guarantee the payment of the consumer to the merchant directly, constituting an alternative to card payments. To these are added, on the other hand, the account information services (account aggregators), which are entities that consolidate all the information of the various accounts that a user has open in different entities and classify it by categories (expense categories or income, for example). However, entities that are exclusively dedicated to one of these two payment services will have lower demands than the rest.

Thus, the new European regulation on payments involves fundamental changes in the industry by giving third parties access to the infrastructure of banks. The PSD2 regulates, in fact, the access of third parties to the accounts of the clients of the banks, either to add the information (account aggregators) or to start the payment process (payment initiators), on behalf of and prior to customer authorization.

At the same time, with the aim of improving security, the regulation includes as a novelty the requirement for a stronger authentication of the client in online access to accounts.

On the other hand, the maximum losses that a client must assume in the event of an unauthorized payment operation as a consequence of fraudulent use, loss or theft of the card or other payment instrument is reduced from 150 to 50 euros. And the response time for the resolution by the entities of the claims of the users of payment services is reduced (to 15 days, compared to the two months previously established).

But the Government has wanted to go beyond the transposition and has established the obligation of every businessman or professional to offer consumers the possibility of using any payment instrument subject to this law, as an alternative to cash, in transactions whose amount exceed the amount of 30 euros. The available payment instrument must be advertised somewhere visible in the premises, establishment or facilities of the entrepreneur or professional.

The text must obtain the corresponding opinions and will return to the Council of Ministers to be approved as a Bill and to start the parliamentary process.

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