Media release

Electronic payment services: Council confirms agreement with EP on updated rules

© European Union
04 June 2015

The Permanent Representatives Committee on 4 June 2015 approved, on behalf of the Council, a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on a directive aimed at further developing an EU-wide market for electronic payments. 

The directive incorporates and repeals an existing payment services directive (directive 2007/64/EC), which provided the legal basis for the creation of an EU-wide single market for payments. 

Catering for changes in e-commerce 

The revised directive adapts existing rules to emerging and innovative payment services, including internet and mobile payments. It establishes a comprehensive set of rules with the aim of ensuring a more secure environment for payments, in particular for those using remote channels. The directive also sets up a more harmonised and effective framework for supervision by national authorities.  

Since adoption of the original payment services directive in 2007, innovative methods for the initiation of payments in the field of e-commerce have evolved. They usually form a software "bridge" between the website of the merchant and the online banking platform of the payer's bank in order to initiate internet payments on the basis of a credit transfer. These services will now be covered by the directive. They enable the payment initiation service provider (who never holds the user's funds) to give assurance to the payee that the funds necessary for a specific payment transaction are available on the account and the payment has been initiated.  

A regulatory regime to cover the activities of account information services will also be provided for. These services offer the payment service user, for example, with aggregated online information on one or more payment accounts held with one or more other payment service providers. This enables the payment service user to have an overall view of his/her financial situation at any given moment, within a secure environment.  

Secure internet payments 

At the same time, the directive promotes the strengthening of security measures for internet payments and for the use of services provided by new market players. It will ensure strong customer authentication to identify the client for each transaction. The new and strengthened supervisory regime will further increase the security level and consumer protection in this field. 

Next steps 

The Council presidency reached a compromise with the Parliament on 5 May 2015. The Council had set out its position in December 2014. The directive will now have to be approved by the Parliament at first reading, so as to allow adoption by the Council once the texts have been finalised in all languages. 

Once adopted, member states will have two years to transpose the directive into their national laws and regulations.

Jānis Bērziņš