Payments Regulation PSD2 Arrives in Europe

An Iphone and a maestro debit card on top of a Mac keyboard

Banks now have to allow access to customers' account details

PwC said interviews it carried out recently with 36 senior bankers in Europe, including Ireland, indicated 70 per cent of executives expected PSD2 to "affect all of their bank operations" as their monopoly over customer account information and payment services effectively ceases on January 13th.

It will force banks in the European Union to open up their customer data to third-party firms if directed to do so by clients, and open the door to "fintech" online applications such as Money Dashboard and Moneybox as well as established retail giants such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

The introduction of open banking is created to break the monopoly banks have on personal account data.

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"PSD2 will ensure that consumers have stronger rights and greater choice when using payment services", said Minister Donohoe.

The main objective of this new regulation is to level the playing field and promote pan-European participation in the payments space for both banks and non-banks, including fintechs.

The measures could reduce the need for a credit card and introduce more direct transactions between customers and retailers. "This data will now be shared with many third parties, only with permission and an very bad lot of security around it", said PwC Partner Sinead Ovenden.

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Current Central Bank-authorised payment services companies, including Fexco Corporate Payments and EU Money Transfer, and e-money institutions such as Facebook Payments International in Dublin, have six months to apply for authorisation under the new regime to benefit from the rule changes.

Expansion of the scope now that PSD2 extends to payment transactions in non-European Economic Area currencies and to "one-leg" transactions (payment transactions where only one of the payment service providers is located within the European Economic Area), and a narrowing of the payment transactions and services which are excluded.

PwC Ireland said all Irish banks surveyed aspire towards full open banking offering third parties to build up new services using individual bank data.

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