Payments: What's new?

PSD 2 enters into force

The revised Payment Services Directive took effect on 13 January. Member States had until this date to transpose the Directive into their national legislation. However, many Member States have not yet introduced legislation to transpose the new rules, making their application incomplete. 

European Commission adopts RTSs for PSD2 on strong customer authentication

The European Commission has adopted the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTSs) on strong customer authentication and common and secure standards for communication. The long-awaited and much-debated RTSs specify the use of strong customer authentication – that is the combination of two or more independent elements: knowledge (something only the users know; possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is). PSD 2 makes the use of strong customer authentication mandatory for instance for the initiation of electronic payments and for accessing of accounts online.
For corporate treasurers it is important to note that these RTSs contain an exemption for "secure corporate payment processes and protocols" in Article 17 where payment security is achieved by other means than strong customer authentication.

Extended remittance information for SCT

Following the co-signed letter by the EACT and other business associations, the European Payments Council has decided to develop a solution for providing extended remittance information for SEPA Credit Transfers. Currently the remittance information for SEPA payments is limited to one occurrence of 140 characters and the EACT has for a long time argued that this is not sufficient for many business’ purposes. The solution would be to allow for multiple occurrences of the 140-character remittance information field for structured remittance information using the ISO 20022 XML messages, however some aspects (such as the maximum number of additional occurrences allowed) remain to be defined. The development of this option is ongoing and would be incorporated into the payment scheme in 2019.

EACT attends eighth Euro Retail Payments Board hosted by the ECB

EACT Chair Jean-Marc Servat and EACT Payments Working Group Chair Massimo Battistella participated to the eighth Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) held on 29 November. Among topics discussed were:

  • Pan-European integration of payment initiation services

  • Electronic invoice presentment and payment solutions: the group endorsed further work in this area, in particular the development of harmonised ISO 20022-based messages for electronic invoicing

  • Ongoing work for a pan-European and interoperable solution to use mobile numbers as a proxy for IBAN

Instant payments go live

Instant SEPA credit transfers (SCT) went live on 21 November. The SCT instant payment is based on the existing SCT scheme but is optional, so Payment Service Providers (PSPs) can decide whether they wish to offer this to their clients. According to the EPC, SCT instant payments are currently available in eight countries (Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain) but PSPs in other countries are expected to onboard soon (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden).