The following posts provide a snapshot of the principal U.S., European and global financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructures, asset managers and corporates.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Reviewing its Directions on Access, Governance and Participants’ Relationships with the PSR
The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has published a consultation on a review of the six formal General Directions (Directions GD 1-6) and one Specific Direction (SD1) it adopted in 2015 under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. These Directions were all intended to improve access to and the governance of payment systems in the U.K. GD1 sets out the PSR’s expectations of regulated participants in payment systems to have an open and co-operative relationship with it. GD2, GD3 and SD1 set out requirements on operators relating to access to interbank and card payment systems and GD4-6 set out requirements for the governance of interbank payment systems.
Since the Directions were adopted in 2015, the PSR has gained experience of applying the Directions in practice and there have been a number of market and legislative changes, including the introduction of the Payment Services Regulations 2017. The PSR considers that the Directions should now be reviewed to reflect these market and legislative developments and to ensure that they remain relevant, proportionate and correctly targeted. The consultation paper sets out each of the Directives along with the PSR’s proposals to revoke, revise or retain the Direction in its current form.
The PSR invites comments on the proposals by June 8, 2018.
View the consultation paper.
EU Legislation on Strong Customer Authentication Published
A Commission Delegated Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation supplements the revised Payment Services Directive with Regulatory Technical Standards for strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication.
PSD2 requires that strong customer authentication is used for accessing a payment account online, initiating a payment transaction and carrying out a transaction through a remote channel. “Strong customer authentication” means an authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorized as knowledge (something only the user knows), possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is) that are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and is designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data.
HM Treasury Consults on Cash and Digital Payments in the New Economy
HM Treasury has published a call for evidence which aims to inform the government's understanding of cash and digital payments in the new economy. Statistics show that the advance of digital technology has impacted how people manage their finances, with a large increase in the use of digital payments and a decrease in the use of cash. The UK Government is seeking input on how it can support the transition from cash to digital payments. The Government would like to ensure that cash remains available and secure to those who need to use it. In addition, the Government is concerned with how it can do more to prevent cash being used illegitimately, mostly to evade tax and to launder money.
Responses to the consultation should be provided by June 5, 2018.
View the call for evidence.
European Central Bank Confirms Collective Agreement Between TARGET2 Participants
The European Central Bank has confirmed that a collective agreement signed between the central banks operating TARGET2 component systems and the central securities depositories operating on the TARGET2-Securities platform can enter into force. The provisions of the Collective Agreement will take effect on March 20, 2018. The Collective Agreement provides a definition of a “common moment of entry” for payments and securities transfer orders that are matched in the systems of the signatories to the agreement. This common moment of entry will either be the moment at which a transfer order has been declared compliant with the technical rules of T2S by either the T2S platform or, if the CSD is operating a separate matching component, by the CSD. Defining the common moment of entry makes it possible to establish the point at which securities transactions become irrevocable and accordingly will provide certainty regarding the treatment of outstanding transactions if a participant becomes insolvent.
US Federal Reserve Board Announces Upcoming Conclusion of Secure Payments Task Force
The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced that the Secure Payments Task Force will conclude its efforts this month with a final publication detailing the lifecycles and security profiles of today's primary payment methods. Established in 2015, the Secure Payments Task Force, which has engaged more than 200 financial institutions, payment service providers, and other stakeholders, has made a number of contributions to improve the security and resiliency of payment systems, including identifying key security priorities, developing resources and documentation to educate stakeholders and providing feedback to the Federal Reserve Board. The members of the Secure Payments Task Force will transition into the FedPayments Improvement Community, a network established to provide stakeholders with opportunities to engage in the Federal Reserve Board with respect to its payment improvement initiatives.
View full text of the Federal Reserve Announcement.
UK Payment Systems Regulator To Proceed With Plans To Reimburse Payment Scam Victims
The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has published the outcome of the consultation it launched in November 2017 on a contingent reimbursement model for the victims of so-called “authorized push payment” scams. That consultation, which closed on January 12, 2018, outlined high level principles for the CRM and requested input from stakeholders on how the model should be further developed, implemented and administered.
Taking into account responses to the consultation, the PSR proposes to proceed with the CRM model and will establish a dedicated steering group to develop it, in the form of an industry code for reimbursement of APP scam victims. The steering group will be comprised of representatives from key stakeholder groups, particularly consumer representatives and PSPs, with oversight and support from the PSR. Other relevant regulatory and governmental bodies will also be involved as observers.
European Commission Hints at Future Changes to the Second Electronic Money Directive
The European Commission has published a report to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the implementation and impact of the second Electronic Money Directive, known as 2EMD. 2EMD establishes a legal framework for the issuance and redemption of e-money and covers the rights and obligations linked to the redemption of funds by consumers, the licensing of e-money institutions and the prudential requirements applicable to e-money institutions, which updates the regime under the first Electronic Money Directive to align it with requirements on payment institutions under the revised Payment Services Directive. It applies to e-money service providers in the EEA. The regime has been sparsely used in practice, with few firms operating under its auspices.
2EMD requires the Commission to assess its implementation and impact and to propose legislative changes, if appropriate. The report was due on November 1, 2012, however, the Commission delayed its publication because a majority of member states had failed to transpose 2EMD into their national laws by the transposition date of April 2011. The Commission also wanted to take into account the impact of PSD2, which includes numerous cross-references to 2EMD.
UK Financial Conduct Authority Will Follow European Banking Authority Guidelines Under the Revised Payment Services Directive
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has issued a statement confirming that it will comply with the Guidelines published by the European Banking Authority on December 12, 2017 on security measures for operational and security risks of payments services under the revised Payment Services Directive.
PSD2 takes effect on January 13, 2018. All Payment Services Providers will be expected to comply with the EBA Guidelines. The FCA reminds businesses wishing to apply for authorization or registration under PSD2, and any PSPs that are re-applying, that applications must contain a statement of the applicant’s security policy, taking into account the Guidelines. The statement of the applicant's security policy must also contain a description of the applicant's measures to comply with the provisions of the Payment Services Regulations 2017 that relate to the management of operational and security risks.
European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Transition to the Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion on the transition from the current Payment Services Directive to the revised Payment Services Directive, which takes effect from January 13, 2018.
Not all the provisions of PSD2 or technical standards and guidelines the EBA has been mandated to prepare under PSD2 will be applicable on January 13, 2018. This delay has led to a number of transitional issues that both market participants and national regulators have approached the EBA about. The Opinion provides clarification on the issues that have been raised and considers the implications for Payment Service Providers and national regulators of the delayed finalization and/or adoption of some of the technical standards and guidelines the EBA has been preparing under PSD2.
UK Government Makes Orders De-recognising CHAPS and Amending Designation of Cheque & Credit
HM Treasury has made two Orders which take effect from December 20, 2017.
The first Order amends the designation Order in force since April 2015 designating Cheque & Credit as a regulated payment system. The changes relate to the specification of the arrangements constituting Cheque & Credit, allowing for development in the Cheque & Credit Rules relating to the processing of the images of cheques and other paper instruments. The Order also makes references to participants as well as members of Cheque & Credit.
The second Order revokes the recognition order of January 5, 2010 specifying CHAPS as a recognized payment system under the Banking Act 2009.
View the Order amending the designation of Cheque & Credit.
View the Order for de-recognition of CHAPS.
European Banking Authority Publishes Technical Standards on Contents and Access to a Central Register for Payment Services Information
The European Banking Authority has published a final report setting out final draft Regulatory Technical Standards and Implementing Technical Standards under the revised Payment Services Directive.
PSD2 requires that the EBA develop, operate and maintain an electronic central register that contains information as notified by national regulators. The EBA consulted earlier in the year on its proposals for the central register and that consultation closed in September 2017.
European Banking Authority Issues Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Security and Operational Risks in Payment Services
The European Banking Authority has published finalized guidelines to assist payment services providers to conduct appropriate risk assessment and risk management of operational and security risks. The finalized guidelines contain some changes from the draft guidelines on which the EBA launched a consultation in May 2017.
Federal Reserve Board Announces Elimination of SOSA Ranking and Proposes Changes to Payment System Risk Policy
The US Federal Reserve Board announced that it is seeking comments regarding a proposed change to its Payment System Risk Policy. In a related action, the Federal Reserve Board has also announced that it is eliminating the strength of support assessment (SOSA) ranking used for FBOs because the information that informs such rankings (such as information on parent banks, home country accounting practices and financial systems, and international regulatory developments) has become more readily available to U.S. supervisors. The proposed changes to the PSR Policy would affect US branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations, and result in changes to the methods used in determining the net debit cap of an FBO and its ability to request a streamlined procedure with regard to the FBO’s maximum daylight overdraft capacity. The calculation method currently takes into account whether the FBO is a financial holding company, as well as the FBO’s SOSA ranking. The Federal Reserve Board notes that the changes to the PSR Policy may result in a reduction of the net debit cap for some FBOs, but contends that the changes will not constrain the US operations of FBOs generally, while more accurately reflecting the usage of intraday credit by FBOs. Comments to the proposal are due on or before February 12, 2018.
View the FRB's PSR Policy Proposal.
View FRB's SR Letter regarding SOSA.
European Banking Authority Publishes Final Draft Technical Standards on Central Contact Points Under the Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority has published its final draft Regulatory Technical Standards on central contact points under the revised Payment Service Directive. The RTS will apply where a payment institution or electronic money institution with its head office in one member state provides payment services on a cross-border basis, under the right of establishment, through agents in another (host) member state. PSD2 gives the national regulators in the host member state the option of requiring that payment institutions or electronic money institutions operating through agents must establish a central contact point in the host territory, to ensure adequate communication and information reporting and effective supervision.
US Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles Delivers Remarks on Prudent Innovation in the Payment System
Vice Chairman for Supervision of the US Federal Reserve Board Randal Quarles provided remarks at the 2017 Financial Stability and Fintech Conference regarding innovation in the payments system. Vice Chairman Quarles noted that technological innovation has greatly changed our day-to-day lives, including in the financial services industry, but cautioned that utility and innovation need to be weighed against the potential ramifications that innovation has on the safety and soundness of the financial system. He noted that this tension is not intrinsically negative, but that care should be taken to maintain stability and safety. Vice Chairman Quarles provided commentary on digital currencies, stating that it may be important to separate underlying technology, such as distributed ledger technology, from the overall concept of digital currency itself. He expressed concerns regarding the wide-spread use of digital currency in its current form, and further cautioned that central-bank-issued digital currency may not be a viable alternative, noting that the latter would require extensive review and consultation about legal and risk issues. However, he noted that research into digital currency issues, including for use as a settlement asset for wholesale payment systems should continue. In closing, Vice Chairman Quarles noted that prudent innovation may be the best course of action to balance the need for innovation with the need for stability.
View transcript of Vice Chairman Quarles’s remarks.
UK Legislation Published on Payment Services and Electronic Money
The Payment Systems and Services and Electronic Money (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017 have been published and will enter into force in part on December 22, 2017 and in part on January 13, 2018.
UK Legislation Published on Oversight of Systemically Important Payment Systems
The Banking Act 2009 (Service Providers to Payment Systems) Order 2017 has been published and will enter into force in part on November 30, 2017 and in part on January 13, 2018.
European Commission Adopts Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on Security Measures and Communication Tools for Payment Services
The European Commission has adopted a draft Delegated Regulation setting out Regulatory Technical Standards on the security measures for strong customer authentication along with common and secure open standards for the communication between account servicing payment service providers, payment initiation service providers, account information service providers, payers, payees and other payment service providers in relation to the provision and use of payment services.
European Commission Concludes that the SEPA Regulation Does Not Require Amending
The European Commission has published a Report to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the application of the SEPA Regulation. The SEPA Regulation establishes technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro to allow electronic payments in euro without distinguishing between national and cross-border payments. The Commission is charged, under the SEPA Regulation, with reporting on the application of the Regulation and proposing legislative changes, if appropriate. The Commission has concluded that the SEPA Regulation is applied correctly across the EU and that a legislative proposal is unnecessary. The Report notes that identified issues, such as IBAN discrimination, have been addressed by Member States and their resolution will need to be closely monitored.
View the Report.
View the Annex to the Report.
EU Sets Out Rules for National Regulators on Passporting under the Revised Payment Services Directive
A Delegated Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union setting out Regulatory Technical Standards for the cooperation and exchange of information between EU national regulators that are the home and host states for payment institutions using the "passport" provided by the revised Payment Services Directive. Under PSD2, payment institutions can make use of the passport either to establish a branch in another Member State, or to provide services cross-border into another Member State. PSD2 will extend the definition of a "payment institution" to include new categories of third-party payment providers.
The RTS set out detailed rules on how national regulators are to assess passport applications and how they should deal with disagreements. The RTS also set out the information that must be obtained and/or transmitted or communicated on a branch, services or agent passport application.
The RTS come into effect on December 1, 2017. The PSD2 passport will be available from January 13, 2018, which is the transposition deadline for PSD2.
View the RTS ((EU) 2017/2055).
Final EU Guidelines on Information Required for Authorization Applications by Payment Institutions
The European Banking Authority has published final Guidelines on the information to be provided for the authorization of payment institutions and electronic money institutions, and for the registration of account information service providers. The revised Payment Service Directive - PSD2 - sets out the information that must be submitted to national regulators with applications for authorization or registration. The Guidelines are divided into four sets, one for payment institutions, one for e-money institutions, one for account information service providers and one for national regulators. The Guidelines cover, among other things, information requirements on an applicant's program of operations, business plans, evidence of initial capital, governance and internal control mechanisms and data protection.
The Guidelines apply from January 13, 2018.
View the Guidelines.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Reimbursement of Victims of Payment Scams
The UK Payment Systems Regulator has published a report on the initiatives it has engaged in with banks, the payment systems industry and the Financial Conduct Authority to prevent or mitigate harm to consumers from scams which involve tricking people into sending money to fraudsters. This type of scam is known as an authorized push payment, or APP, scam and is the second biggest type of payment fraud reported in the UK behind card fraud. The PSR has previously investigated APP scams following a Which? super-complaint in 2016 and concluded in its response to the super-complaint that more needed to be done to address them.
European Banking Authority Consults on Home-Host Regulator Co-operation Under the Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on draft Regulatory Technical Standards under the revised Payment Services Directive concerning the level of co-operation between national regulators in home and host states of a payment institution that operates cross-border in the European Union. PSD2 takes effect from January 13, 2018. The draft RTS specify the framework for the co-operation between the supervisors of payment institutions operating on a cross-border basis, including the method for co-operation and details of information that should be provided between regulators. The draft RTS also specify the means, details and frequency of any reporting that a host national regulator may request from payment institutions of the payment business activities carried out in its territory through agents or branches.
The EBA invites comments on the draft RTS by January 5, 2018.
View the consultation paper.
European Banking Authority Publishes Final Guidelines on Procedures for Complaints of Alleged Infringements of PSD2
The European Banking Authority has published final Guidelines on complaints procedures for alleged infringements by payment service providers of the Payments Services Directive 2. PSD2 provides for payment service users and other interested parties, including consumer associations, to submit complaints to national regulators regarding alleged infringements of the PSD2 requirements by payment service providers. National regulators will be required to make available two different means by which a complaint can be submitted and to publicly disclose information on their procedures for complaints of alleged infringements. National regulators will also be required to provide complainants with certain information in response to their complaint. Furthermore, national regulators will need to have procedures in place to collate and analyze aggregated complaints information so that they can assess, for example, the nature of the most common types of complaints and the identity of the payment service providers subject to the most complaints. The final Guidelines will apply from January 13, 2018 and will be updated on a regular basis thereafter.
View the Final Report and Guidelines.
Global Standard Setter Consults on Strategy to Address Wholesale Payments Fraud
The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures is consulting on a possible strategy to improve the security of wholesale payments involving banks, financial market infrastructures and other financial institutions. The CPMI is a global standard setter, mandated to promote the safety and efficiency of payment, clearing, settlement and related arrangements. It formed a task force in 2016, to look into the evolving threat and increasing sophistication of wholesale payments fraud. The CPMI taskforce undertook a stocktake of current practices. The resulting discussion note highlights for consultation seven elements relating to preventing, detecting, responding to and communicating about wholesale payments fraud.
Stakeholders are invited to provide input on the proposed strategy by November 28, 2017. Consultation responses will contribute to guidance on the seven elements, which the CPMI aims to develop by early 2018.
View the CPMI Discussion Note.
European Banking Authority Consults on Guidelines on Security Measures for Operational and Security Risks under the Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on draft Guidelines on security measures for operational and security risks under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2). PSD2, which will apply from January 13, 2018, requires Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to establish a framework with appropriate mitigation measures and control mechanisms to manage operational and security risks, relating to the payment services they provide. The framework must include effective incident management procedures, including for the detection and classification of major operational and security incidents. A PSP is required to report to its national regulator annually, providing an updated and comprehensive assessment of the operational and security risks relating to the payment services they provide and on the adequacy of the mitigation measures implemented in response to those risks. The draft Guidelines aim to define those requirements and will apply to PSPs and national regulators responsible for monitoring the implementation of the requirements by PSPs.
UK Delivery Plan for Consolidation of Payment Systems Operators
The Payment System Operator Delivery Group, an independently chaired body set up by the Payment Systems Regulator and the Bank of England, has published a recommended Delivery Plan for the consolidation of the operators of three payment system operators: Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd, Cheque and Credit Clearing Company and the Faster Payments Scheme Ltd. The proposed consolidation was one of the recommendations made in the Payments Strategy Forum's November 2016 report, which sets out a wide-ranging strategy for reforming the UK retail payments industry. The Delivery Plan includes a Strategic Framework (including company purpose and strategic objectives) for the new PSO, the proposed design of the PSO (including setting the company up as a company limited by guarantee), a funding model for setting up the consolidated PSO and for its ongoing operation and a target implementation timeline which also sets out a transitional scheme to ensure continuity of services.
The Delivery Plan now needs to be reviewed and agreed by the boards of the three operators as well as their members. If agreed, the aim is for the consolidation to be mostly completed by the end of 2017.
View the delivery plan.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Monitoring and Enforcing the Revised Payment Services Directive
The Payment Systems Regulator has opened a consultation on its proposed approach to monitoring and enforcing the revised Payment Services Directive. The UK Government has separately consulted on draft Payment Services Regulations 2017 which will implement the revised Payment Services Directive into national laws and replace the existing Payment Services Regulations 2009 and new FCA rules are also subject to consultation. PSD2 will repeal the current Payment Services Directive with effect from January 13, 2018. Member States must adopt, publish and apply implementing laws from that date, subject to certain exceptions and transitional measures.
UK Financial Conduct Authority Consults on Implementing Draft Payment Services Regulations 2017
The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on changes to its rules resulting from implementation of the draft Payment Services Regulations 2017. The UK Government has separately consulted on draft Payment Services Regulations 2017 which will implement the revised Payment Services Directive into national laws and replace the existing Payment Services Regulations 2009.
UK Regulator Consults on Persistent Debt and Earlier Intervention Remedies as Part of Credit Card Market Study
The Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper on persistent credit card debt and earlier intervention remedies. The remedies and interventions outlined in the consultation paper form part of the overall package of remedies announced by the FCA in July 2016 in its credit card market study final findings report. The FCA then concluded that competition was working fairly well for the 30 million consumers who hold a credit card. However, the FCA expressed significant concerns regarding the scale, extent and the nature of persistent credit card debt and the limited incentives provided by firms to reduce this.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Final Report on Proposed Financial Penalty Scheme
The UK Payment Systems Regulator has published a Report outlining how it will use the money retained from any financial penalties it imposes. The PSR has decided to adopt the approach as outlined in its consultation paper published on November 11, 2017. The Report notes that a majority of respondents supported the proposals and summarizes the ten responses to the consultation. The PSR will use amounts retained to reduce regulatory fees levied in a particular year from payment service providers. As a result, some of the PSR's enforcement costs would be funded through penalties imposed, rather than through fees. The PSR's enforcement powers under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 allow the PSR to impose penalties for compliance failures on firms subject to regulation.
View the Report.
Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures Publishes Analytical Framework of Distributed Ledger Technology
The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures published a report on distributed ledger technology in payment, clearing and settlement. In the context of payment, clearing and settlement, DLT enables entities to carry out transactions without relying on a central entity to maintain a single ledger. Financial market infrastructures are entrusted by their participants with maintaining a central ledger and, in some cases, managing certain risks on behalf of participants. It has therefore been commented that DLT could reduce the reliance on a central ledger managed by a FMI.
The objective of the report is to provide central banks and authorities with an analytical framework for assessing DLT arrangements, focusing on those that involve restricted ledgers where access is limited to approved users only.
European Banking Authority Published Final Draft Technical Standards for Payment Service Providers
The European Banking Authority published final draft Regulatory Technical Standards on the requirements of strong customer authentication and secure communication under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2). PSD2, which will apply from January 13, 2018, requires payment service providers to apply strong customer authentication measures where the payer accesses its payment account online, initiates an electronic payment transaction or carries out any action through a remote channel, which may imply a risk of payment fraud or other abuses.
The final draft RTS supplement PSD2 with requirements for: (i) strong customer authentication; (ii) exemptions from the authentication requirements depending on: the level of risk involved in the service provided, the amount, the recurrence of the transaction, or both or the payment channel used for the execution of the transaction; (iii) security measures to protect the confidentiality and the integrity of payment service users' personalized security credentials; and (iv) common and secure open standards of communication between account servicing payment service providers, Payment Initiation Services providers, Account Information Services providers, payers, payees and other payment service providers.
The EBA consulted on the draft RTS during 2016. Following consultation feedback, the EBA made changes to the final draft RTS. The final draft RTS have been submitted to the European Commission for consideration and adoption. It is proposed that the final RTS would apply 18 months after it comes into effect, therefore the earliest the requirements would apply from is November 2018.
View the final draft RTS.
European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Guidelines on Complaints of Alleged Infringements of PSD2
The European Banking Authority published for consultation draft Guidelines on complaints procedures for alleged infringements of the Payments Services Directive 2 by payment service providers. The PSD2 provides for payment service users and other interested parties, including consumer associations, to submit complaints to national regulators regarding alleged infringements of the PSD2 requirements by payment service providers.
The proposed Guidelines will apply to national regulators of payment service providers. The proposed Guidelines require national regulators to have two different means by which a complaint can be submitted and to publicly disclose information on their procedures for complaints of alleged infringements. National regulators will be required to request certain information from complainants and also to provide complainants with certain information in response to their complaint. Furthermore, national regulators will need to have procedures in place to collate and analyze aggregated complaints information so that they can assess, for example, the nature of the most common types of complaints and the identity of the payment service providers subject to the most complaints. Responses to the consultation are due by May 16, 2017. The final Guidelines will apply from January 13, 2018 and will be updated on a regular basis thereafter.
View the consultation paper.
UK Government Consults on Implementing the Revised EU Payment Services Directive
The UK Government launched a consultation on implementation of the revised EU Payment Services Directive in the UK. The new Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2) aims to make payments between Member States as secure, easy and efficient as those made within a Member State. PSD2 focuses on electronic payments and payment services within the EU, regulating new types of payment services and payment services providers, which are currently unregulated, and stimulating competition in the electronic payments market.
The Government's consultation comprises a consultation on issues to be considered in implementing PSD2 in the UK and proposed draft regulations. The draft regulations will revoke the existing Payment Services Regulations although large parts of the new draft regulations will replicate parts of the existing PSRs. Consequential changes will also be required to other UK legislation, including the Electronic Money Regulations 2011. The consultation is relevant to banks, building societies, e-money institutions, payment institutions and payment users.
US Federal Reserve Board Issues Report on Efforts to Improve the US Payment System
The US Federal Reserve Board issued a progress report which outlined accomplishments and anticipated future steps related to the ongoing initiatives that the Federal Reserve Board has underway to enhance the speed, efficiency and security of the US payment system. The progress report highlights collaborative efforts that are being pursued by the Federal Reserve Board in conjunction with various private sector businesses, financial services providers, financial institutions, consumer groups and government agencies in furtherance of the strategies outlined in the January 2015 publication of “Strategies for Improving the US Payment System.” The progress report details the work-to-date and future plans of two payments industry task forces that have effectuated the initiatives—one devoted to faster payments and the other to a more secure payment system.
View the progress report.
EU Draft Guidelines on Major Incident Reporting Published for Consultation
The European Banking Authority launched a consultation on draft Guidelines on major incidents reporting under the Payment Services Directive 2. PSD2 requires payment service providers to notify their national regulator without delay of any major operational or security incident. The national regulator must assess the relevance of the incident to other authorities in its Member State and notify them accordingly. In addition, the national regulator must pass on the details of the incident to the EBA and the European Central Bank and, with them, assess the relevance of the incident to other EU bodies and Member States and notify them accordingly.
The EBA is responsible for preparing Guidelines addresses to PSPs on the classification of major incidents and on the content, the format, including standard notification templates and the procedures for notifying an incident to their regulator. In addition, the EBA must prepare Guidelines for national regulators on the criteria for assessing the relevance of an incident and the details of the incident report to be shared with other authorities. Both Guidelines must be developed in close cooperation with the ECB. The EBA's consultation paper sets out the proposed Guidelines as developed by the EBA with the ECB. Responses to the consultation are requested by March 7, 2017.
View the consultation paper.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Consultation Paper on Proposed Financial Penalty Scheme
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published a consultation paper and proposed guidance on the Financial Penalty Scheme that is applicable to penalty payment amounts retained by the PSR. The PSR’s enforcement powers under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 allow the PSR to impose penalties for compliance failures on firms subject to regulation. The PSR pays penalties it receives to HM Treasury whilst retaining an amount to cover enforcement costs. The PSR proposes to use the amount retained to reduce regulatory fees levied in a particular year from payment service providers. As a result, some of the PSR’s enforcement costs would be funded through penalties imposed, rather than through fees. The consultation paper outlines a number of situations that might arise and how the scheme could apply. For example, where payment service providers have become liable to pay penalties in the previous year and are also fee payers, the PSR would ensure that such parties do not receive any returned retained amounts under the Financial Penalty Scheme. Responses to the consultation are due by January 13, 2017.
View the consultation paper.
View the guidance on the Financial Penalty Scheme.
Draft EU Guidelines on Information Required for Authorization Applications by Payment Institutions
The European Banking Authority published for consultation draft Guidelines on the detailed information required to be submitted with an application for authorization by payment institutions and electronic money institutions, and for the registration of account information service providers. The revised Payment Service Directive sets out the information that must be submitted to national regulators with applications for authorization or registration. The proposed Guidelines cover, amongst other things, information requirements on an applicant's program of operations, business plans, evidence of initial capital, governance and internal control mechanisms and data protection. The consultation closes on February 3, 2017.
View the consultation paper.
US Federal Reserve Board Secure Payments Task Force Seeks Comments from Industry Participants
10/25/2016The Secure Payments Task Force, a 160-member task force convened by the US Federal Reserve Board to advance the safety, security and resiliency of the national payment system, requested comments from payment system industry participants in connection with its efforts to enhance three priority areas: (i) payment identity management; (ii) data protection and (iii) information sharing related to payments risk and fraud. For each of these focus areas, working group members have been meeting to document the current environment, the attributes of a more effective environment, the desired outcomes in each area and the barriers to implementation of recommended solutions.
The Secure Payments Task Force has been working across payment industry segments to define challenges and develop potential solutions. An online survey has been created to gather comments on how the task force is addressing challenges related to the three focus areas. The goal is to help ensure that the solutions being pursued will meet industry needs.
The survey was open for comment through November 8, 2016.
View Informatin regarind the survey.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Final Guidance on the European Interchange Fee Regulation
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published the final Guidance on its approach to monitoring compliance with the EU Interchange Fee Regulation. The final Guidance consolidates the previous final Guidance published in March 2016 on enforcing compliance of the provisions of the Regulation that came into force on December 9, 2015, with the latest Guidance relating to provisions that subsequently came into force on June 9, 2016. The PSR has also published a Policy Statement which summarizes the main responses to the PSR's latest draft Guidance.
The Interchange Fee Regulation imposes caps on interchange fees on consumer debit and credit card transactions where the issuer and acquirer are both located in the EEA. The final Guidance applies to payment card schemes, issuing and acquiring payment service providers, processing entities, other technical service providers and merchants.
US Federal Reserve Board Task Forces Begin Review of Faster Payments Solution Proposals
Nearly 500 members of two national task forces convened by the US Federal Reserve Board began their review of nineteen proposals submitted by interested task force members across the payments industry that outline potential approaches for a faster payment system in the United States.
One task force is focused on faster payment capabilities, while the other is working to enhance payment system security. The review by the two task forces, each of which includes representatives of financial institutions, consumer groups, payment service providers, financial technology firms, businesses, government agencies and other interested parties, follows an independent analysis of the proposals by a global consulting firm, which assessed the proposals against 36 effectiveness criteria created by members of both task forces earlier this year.
A final two-part report is expected to result from the Faster Payments Task Force work effort. The first section, slated for release in January 2017, will describe the task force history and background. The report will detail gaps in the current payments landscape, identify opportunities for improvements and outline the benefits to the public of a faster payment system and the needs it would serve.
The second section of the final report, targeted for release in mid-year 2017, will include a discussion and assessment of the specific proposals, offering models of what an end-to-end faster payment system in the United States could look like and demonstrating how each proposal measured up against the various effectiveness criteria. This section will also identify strategic issues deemed important to the successful development of faster payments in the United States and recommend industry actions required to advance their implementation and adoption.
View Federal Reserve Board press release.
Bank of England Proposes Code of Practice for Recognized Payment System Operators
The Bank of England published a consultation paper proposing the introduction of a draft Code of Practice and Supervisory Statement on governance in recognized payment system operators. The final Code and the Supervisory Statement will contain the minimum governance requirements and expectations for recognized payment system operators to meet. Recognized payment systems include Bacs, CREST, CHAPS, LINK and Faster Payment Services. The Principles for financial market infrastructures, developed by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems and the International Organization of Securities Commissions, form the basis of the draft Code although the Bank has also taken into account other sources such as the UK Corporate Governance Code. Amongst other things, the draft Code would require a recognized payment system operator to be a systemic risk manager (by promoting the safety and efficiency of the payment system and supporting the stability of the financial system), review its performance annually and document its governance policies and procedures. It would also set out the requirements for composition of the board and expectations on governance arrangements. It is not intended that the Code would apply to a recognized payment system that is operated by a recognized clearing house or central securities depository because those entities are already subject to similar requirements under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation or the Central Securities Depositories Regulation. The Bank of England is proposing that the Code be implemented 12 months after publication of the final version. The consultation closes on December 2, 2016.
View the consultation paper.
European Banking Authority Consults on Minimum Amount of Professional Indemnity Insurance for Authorization under the Revised EU Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority published a consultation paper proposing draft Guidelines on how to stipulate the minimum monetary amount of professional indemnity insurance required for authorization under the Payment Services Directive II. PSD2 entered into force on January 12, 2016, and will apply from January 13, 2018. The PSD2 recognizes new types of payment services that have emerged in the area of internet payments, such as payment initiation services and account information services. The PSD2 sets out the criteria on how to stipulate the minimum monetary amount of professional indemnity insurance or other comparable guarantee to be held by regulated firms. The draft Guidelines also set out the criteria, indicators, calculation methods and a formula that regulators should use when granting authorization or registration. The consultation paper explains the EBA's proposal for the use of a formula to calculate the minimum monetary amount of professional indemnity insurance or any comparable guarantee, when and how the lowest tier (the default value) should be used when calculating the monetary amount, provides details on indicators for the criteria set out in the PSD2 and the proposed methodology for some of the indicators. Responses to the consultation are due by November 30, 2016.
View the consultation page.
European Banking Authority Consults on Proposed Draft Technical Standards Supplementing the Payment Accounts Directive
The European Banking Authority published proposed draft technical standards on fee terminology and disclosure documents under the Payment Accounts Directive. The PAD aims to assist consumers to understand the fees of payment service providers and to make informed decisions about which account is most suitable for customers, by setting common standards for PSPs across EU Member States, harmonising the terminology used by PSPs and introducing fee information templates. The EBA is responsible for preparing draft Regulatory Technical Standards setting out the Union standardized terminology for the most common services linked to a payment account, as well as Implementing Technical Standards on the standardized presentation format of the fee information document (FID) and the statement of fees (SoF). The EBA's consultation paper sets out its proposed RTS and ITS, the options it has considered and the rationale for choosing the proposed requirements and examples of completed FIDs and SoFs. Responses to the consultation are due by December 22, 2016.
View the consultation paper.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Designates BACS Current Account Switching Service as an Alternative Arrangement
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published a decision designating the Current Account Switch Service operated by BACS Payment Schemes Limited as an alternative arrangement under the Payment Accounts Regulations 2015. This follows an application from BACS to the PSR on June 9, 2016, for the Current Account Switch Service to be designated as an alternative arrangement pursuant to the PARs. The PARs make provision for the switching of a consumer’s payment account to a new account at the consumer’s request. Switching services must meet certain requirements, unless the PSR designates the service as an alternative arrangement. In order to be designated as an alternative arrangement, the scheme must meet certain criteria set out in the PARs, such as clearly being in the interests of consumers.
View the Decision.
European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Standards for Payment Service Providers
The European Banking Authority published a consultation paper on draft Regulatory Technical Standards specifying the requirements of strong customer authentication and secure communication under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2). PSD2, which will apply from January 13, 2018, requires payment service providers to apply strong customer authentication measures where the payer: (i) accesses its payment account online; (ii) initiates an electronic payment transaction; and (iii) carries out any action through a remote channel which may imply a risk of payment fraud or other abuses.
UK Regulator Policy Statement on Implementation of the Payment Accounts Regulations
The Financial Conduct Authority published a policy statement on changes to the FCA Handbook to implement the Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 (PAR). The policy statement summarizes feedback from its consultation on the implementation of the PAR in March of this year and contains the subsequent final changes to the FCA Handbook and the finalized non-Handbook guidance.
Changes to the Handbook and Guidance touch on various issues. Minor amendments have been made to the Guidance to provide clarity on the definition of a “payment account” in the Handbook and the scope of the PAR provisions on packaged accounts has been clarified. Amendments have also been made in relation to the regulatory reporting requirements. For example, the total number of refusals of switching and basic bank account applications would now need to be reported (rather than the proportion of total applications refused). The reporting deadline has also been extended to two months (instead of one month) after the end of the reporting period.
Changes to the Handbook and Guidance will come into effect on September 18, 2016, which is the same day as the date on which the Payment Account Regulations provisions on packaged accounts, switching and basic bank accounts enter into force.
View the policy statement.
UK Regulator Reports on Credit Card Market
The Financial Conduct Authority published its final report outlining findings from its credit card market study. The FCA credit card market study was launched in November 2014. The purpose of the study was to analyze the credit card market and determine whether it is working in the interest of consumers and to develop remedies to improve the situation if needed. Interim findings were published in November 2015 with potential remedies mooted for certain issues such as the frequent withdrawal of firms’ promotional offers and the fees associated with a single month’s missed payment. The final report summarizes feedback received on the interim report and outlines the FCA’s package of remedies.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Final Report on Market Review into Supply of Indirect Access to Payment Systems
07/21/2016The Payment Systems Regulator published its final report on its market review into the supply of indirect access to payment systems. Banks, building societies and other payment service providers rely on payment systems to transfer money between accounts. The PSR commented that provision of access to payment systems is essential in enabling effective supervision of and innovation in payments. Indirect access to payment systems occurs when one payment service provider relies on another payment service provider to provide access. The PSRs final conclusions remain largely unchanged from its interim report.
The PSR concluded that generally, competition in the supply of indirect access appears to be producing some good outcomes. For example, large indirect payment service providers (IPSPs) have a number of options to access payments systems, there is a reasonable level of overall satisfaction with the quality of the indirect access offering that IPSPs receive.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Application of Interchange Fee Regulation in the UK
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published a consultation paper on the application of provisions in the Interchange Fee Regulation, which take effect in the UK from June 9, 2016. The Regulation sets a limit on interchange fees on debit and credit card transactions where both the issuer and acquirer are located in the European Economic Area and outlines a number of business rule provisions that require affected parties to amend their business practices. The consultation paper is Phase II of the PSR’s consultation on the Regulation; the previous Phase I paper outlined the PSR’s powers and procedures as the designated regulator for monitoring and compliance of the Regulation. The Regulation came into effect on December 9, 2015. This consultation concerns the PSR’s approach to the remaining provisions which will come into effect on June 9, 2016, focusing on three areas: (i) business rules; (ii) monitoring and enforcement of the business rules; and (iii) amendments to the Phase I Guidance.
Responses to the consultation were due by July 8, 2016.
View the consultation paper.
View further information on Phase I guidance.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Policy Statement and Guidance on Alternative Arrangements for Switching Accounts
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published a Policy Statement and final Guidance on the application of the Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 in respect of alternative arrangements for switching accounts. The final guidance sets out the approach under the PSR to designating alternative switching schemes and is relevant to operators of alternative switching schemes, payment service providers, consumers and regulators.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Will Not Introduce New Access and Governance Requirements for Card Payment Schemes
The UK Payment Systems Regulator announced that after consideration, it had decided that it would not be imposing any new access or governance requirements on card payment schemes. The PSR introduced governance requirements for interbank payment systems in 2015. The PSR has considered the information it has gathered as well as the improvements made in the area through EU legislation, in particular, the Payment Services Regulations 2009. The PSR will continue to assess whether any changes are necessary.
View the announcement.
US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Giancarlo Discusses Blockchain Regulatory Framework
US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo discussed distributed ledger technology, commonly known as DLT or blockchain and its potential to "revolutionize the world of finance." He noted some of the potential uses of blockchain technology, including increasing settlement efficiency and speed, linking recordkeeping networks, reducing transaction costs and increasing market access. Giancarlo also noted potential opportunities in payments, banking, securities settlement, title recording, cyber security and trade reporting and analysis. Citing the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Giancarlo emphasized that blockchain technology could provide regulators better visibility into trading portfolios between counterparties, allowing them to react sooner in the face of financial deterioration. Analogizing the development of blockchain to the inception of the internet, Commissioner Giancarlo called on US regulators to let the private sector lead and to avoid impeding innovation and investment as the technology develops. He advocated for a principles-based approach developed in coordination between US and foreign regulators. Finally, he noted that regulators should revisit existing rules and recordkeeping requirements to be sure that they do not inhibit innovation. With respect to the CFTC specifically, he said his agency will revisit Rule 1.31 - a recordkeeping rule that requires all books and records to be kept in their original form or native file format.
View Commissioner Giancarlo’s speech.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Final Guidance on Application of EU Interchange Fee Regulation
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published its final Guidance on the application of the EU Interchange Fee Regulation. The IFR, which is directly applicable across the EU, applies to payment card schemes, issuing and acquiring payment service providers, processing entities, other technical service providers and, in certain circumstances, merchants. The IFR applies to the following payment card schemes: MasterCard, Visa Europe, American Express, Diners Club International, JCB International and Union Pay International. The PSR's Guidance covers: (i) the classification of schemes for IFR purposes; (ii) interchange fee caps and the possible exemption from those caps for some three-party schemes; (iii) the PSR's powers and procedures, including penalties for non-compliance; and (iv) the business rules.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Guidance on Super Complaints
The UK Payments Systems Regulator published its final Guidance for designated representative bodies making so-called "super complaints" under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. The representatives can issue complaints to the Payments Systems Regulator when one or more features of a UK operated market (or a market that operates only in part in the UK) for services provided by payment systems are, or appear to be, significantly damaging the interests of payment service users. Super complaints are complaints made on behalf or as a result of issues affecting a large number of users. The list of designated representative bodies published by HM Treasury in February will become effective on April 1, 2016. The first designated representative bodies are: (i) the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux; (ii) the General Consumers’ Association; (iii) the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland; (iv) the National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses; and (v) Age UK.
UK Legislation on Unregulated and Regulated Activities
The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Order 2016 was made. The Order amends legislation relating to the regulation of activities connected with lending, primarily the Financial Services Act and Markets Act (2000). The Order extends the scope of regulated activities for certain types of activities which previously did not qualify as a regulated activity, for the purpose of the FSMA, are now deemed a regulated activity. For example, it provides amendments to the regulated activity of operating electronic systems in relation to lending. The amend states that the activity is regulated whether the operation collects interest or not under the lending agreement, and where a person carrying on that activity, facilitating another person transferring their rights under an agreement to a third party, is a regulated activity. The Order also serves partly to implement the Mortgage Credit Directive Order. For example, the Order extends the scope of the regulated activities of arranging and advising on regulated mortgage contracts so that mortgages entered into before October 31, 2004 (which are regulated as consumer credit agreements before March 21, 2016) are included within the activities from that date. The Order came into force on March 17, 2016.
View the Order.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Account Regulations
The Payment Systems Regulator published a consultation paper on the application of the Payment Account Regulations 2015 to alternative arrangements for switching accounts, including draft guidance on its approach to designating alternative switching schemes and monitoring of the PSR's compliance under the PAR. The EU Payment Accounts Directive was transposed into UK law through the PARs. The Payment Accounts Directive outlines the mandatory regulatory standards for EU Member States for matters such as facilitating current account switching and ensuring access to bank accounts with basic features. Provisions in the PAR relating to the role of the PSR will come into effect on September 18, 2016. The PSR's proposed guidance explains how to apply for designation as an "alternative arrangement" for switching, how the PSR will assess applications for designation, and how the PSR will monitor and enforce compliance of alternative arrangements for switching. Comments on the proposals are required by April 12, 2016.
View the PSR consultation paper.
View the PSR draft guidance.
List of Designated Representatives Enabled as Complainants for UK Payment Systems Providers
HM Treasury published the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (Designated Representative Bodies) Order 2016 together with an explanatory memorandum. Under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013, representatives designated by the Treasury can issue complaints to the Payments Systems Regulator (which was itself established under the Act) when one or more features of a UK operated market (or a market that operates only in part in the UK) for services provided by payment systems are, or appear to be, significantly damaging the interests of payment service users. The Order is the first to designate representatives that are able to issue complaints under the Act and aims to ensure that misconduct or market failure in the payment system sector is brought to the attention of the PSR and investigated. The Order designates five representatives: (i) the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux; (ii) the Consumers’ Association; (iii) the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland; (iv) the National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses; and (v) Age UK. The Order comes into force on April 1, 2016.
View the Order.
View the Explanatory Memorandum.
UK Regulator Call for Input on Existing Issues in Current Payment Services Regime
The Financial Conduct Authority issued a Call for Input on its approach to the current payment services regime further to the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2) which is to be transposed into national law by January 2018. PSD2 will affect the way payments services providers (such as banks, building societies and money transmission firms) are regulated. The FCA expects to revise certain sections of its Handbook in light of the revised directive and is seeking views on whether any issues exist that should be addressed when the updates are made. Responses to the Call for Input are due by March 23, 2016.
View the Call for Input.
US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Progress Report on Strategies for Improving the US Payment System
02/02/2016The US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a report providing an update on its progress in implementing efforts to improve the US Payments System as set out in its 2015 Strategies for Improving the US Payments System. The report also outlines additional steps the Federal Reserve anticipates taking going forward. Two task forces comprised of more than 500 industry participants have been formed and they have created a list of 36 criteria that describe the attributes of an enhanced payment system. Work has been done with respect to standards, directories and business to business improvements to enhance payment system efficiency. The report also notes that joint efforts with industry participants recently culminated in a plan to implement the financial messaging standard ISO 20022 for US wire transfer systems and advanced plans to implement widespread same day Automated Clearing House settlement.
View the progress report.
Final EU Revised Payment Services Directive Published
The revised EU Payment Services Directive, known as PSD2, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The aims of PSD2, which focuses on electronic payments and payment services within the EU, include making payments between Member States as secure, easy and efficient as those made within a Member State, regulating new types of payment services and payment services providers which are currently unregulated and stimulating competition in the electronic payments market. Member States must transpose PSD2 into their national laws by January 13, 2018 and apply those laws from that date, subject to certain exceptions and transitional measures. PSD2 will appeal the current Payment Services Directive with effect from January 13, 2018.
UK Government Publishes New Payment Account Regulations
HM Treasury published the Payment Account Regulations together with an explanatory memorandum. The Regulations implement the Payment Accounts Directive which sets common standards for payment service providers across EU Member States. The three main policy objectives of the PAD are: (i) to improve transparency and comparability of payment account fees used on a daily basis for payment transactions (i.e. personal current accounts); (ii) to make it less burdensome for consumers to be able to move their current account from one payment service provider to another; and (iii) to ensure that EU residents have access to banking services and that a sufficient number of accounts that offer basic features are available. The new Regulations cover: (i) the obligations on payment service providers to enable consumers to make informed choices when choosing a payment account; (ii) non-discrimination in the provision of and access to payments accounts; and (iii) switching payments accounts and the facilitation of cross-border account opening for consumers. The Regulations will enter into force on September 18, 2016 except for those provisions related to the obligation of the Financial Conduct Authority to publish a list of the most representative services linked to a payment account and subject to a fee which will come into effect six months after the publication of that list.
View the Regulations.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Report on Access and Governance of Payment Systems
The Payment Systems Regulator published its first annual report on access and governance of payment systems. The report sets out the progress of operators of designated payment systems in achieving more open and flexible direct access to payment systems and making the governance of payment system operators more inclusive and transparent. The report states that operators could do more to enable access for smaller banks and non-bank payment service providers and must ensure that the views of those that rely on payment systems are represented in the decision making of operators. The PSR also reports that progress has been made so far on clearer and fairer requirements for direct access, transparency of payment system operator decisions and better representation of payment systems' users' views.
View the report.
European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on Information Sharing Between National Regulators under Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority published a consultation paper on draft Regulatory Technical Standards on the framework for cooperation and exchange of information between national regulators for passporting under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2). The aims of PSD2, which focuses on electronic payments and payment services within the EU, include making payments between Member States as secure, easy and efficient as those made within a Member State, regulating new types of payment services and payment services providers which are currently unregulated and stimulating competition in the electronic payments market. The RTS aim to ensure that: (i) information about those entities that carry out business in EU Member States is exchanged between national regulators in a consistent way; (ii) there is clarity for payment institutions about their regulatory requirements; and (iii) the information that is to be shared between national regulators is specified. Comments are due by March 11, 2016.
View the consultation paper.
European Banking Authority Consults on Strong Customer Authentication and Secure Communication under the Revised Payment Services Directive
The European Banking Authority published a discussion paper on strong customer authentication and secure communication under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2), which is expected to enter into force in January 2016 and apply from January 2018. Under PSD2, the EBA must deliver Regulatory Technical Standards on strong customer authentication and secure communication by January 2017. The aims of these standards are to enhance consumer protection, promote innovation and improve the security of payment services across the EU. The draft RTS, once developed in conjunction with the European Central Bank, will set out: (i) the requirements for strong customer authentication; (ii) the exemptions from these requirements; (iii) measures that would protect security credentials of users; (iv) requirements for communications that are common and secure; and (v) security measures between the various types of providers in the payments sector. Comments are due by February 8, 2016.
View the consultation paper.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Press Release on Card Schemes Subject to Domestic Interchange Fee Caps
The UK Payment Systems Regulator issued a press release on the provisional determination of card schemes that are subject to domestic interchange fee caps in the UK under the EU Regulation on Interchange Fees for Card-Based Payment Transactions. The IFR introduces caps on interchange fees for debit and credit card transactions where the issuer and acquirer are both located in the EEA. The caps became applicable on December 9, 2015. The IFR applies to the following payment card schemes: MasterCard, Visa Europe, American Express, Diners Club International, JCB International and Union Pay International. Following the responses to the PSR's information request published in November 2015 on the value of UK domestic debit and credit card transactions, and the possibility of American Express potentially qualifying for an exemption from the interchange fee caps on domestic transactions, the PSR's provisional conclusion is that the market share of American Express is above the 3% threshold and American Express and any payment service providers participating in the American Express Scheme must comply with the interchange fee caps for UK domestic transactions. The PSR will issue its final guidance as well as an announcement to specify the schemes that will be exempt from the domestic interchange fee caps for the period to 31 March 2016 at an unspecified later date.
View the press release.
European Parliament Adopts Revised Directive on Payment Services
The European Parliament announced that it adopted the revised Directive on Payment Services known as PSD2, which will repeal the current PSD. The aims of PSD2, which focuses on electronic payments and payment services within the EU, include making payments between Member States as secure, easy and efficient as those made within a Member State, regulating new types of payment services and payment services providers which are currently unregulated and stimulating competition in the electronic payments market. The Directive is expected to be formally adopted by the EU Council of Ministers and will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States will then have two years to introduce PSD2 into national law.
View the text of the revised Directive.
View the press release.
Payment Systems Regulator Survey on Payment Service Providers and Indirect Payment Systems
The UK Payment Systems Regulator announced that it is conducting a survey aimed at payment service providers who access payment systems indirectly. The survey is intended to inform the PSR’s consideration of whether action is required in the context of its two market reviews, which are on: (i) the supply of indirect access to payment systems, launched in May 2015; and (ii) the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision (the hardware, software, secure telecommunications network and operating environments that are used to manage and operate payment systems), first announced in November 2014. Responses to the survey are due by September 23, 2015.
View the survey form.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Guidance on its Concurrent Competition Powers
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published final guidance on its concurrent competition powers and on its approach to market reviews. The PSR has concurrent competition powers with the Competition and Markets Authority. The final guidance on the PSR’s powers and procedures under the Competition Act 1998, known as the CA98 Guidance, explains how the PSR will use its concurrent competition powers for participation in payment systems within the UK, in particular the enforcement processes it will follow and how they relate to its other powers and duties. The final guidance on the PSR’s powers and procedures for market reviews, market studies and market investigation, known as its Markets Guidance, explains the PSR’s powers to carry out market reviews, how the PSR will choose which powers to use, how the PSR will carry out market reviews and studies, including its approach to disclosure and use of information and how the PSR will make market investigation references.
View the CA98 Guidance.
View the Markets Guidance.
Next Steps for UK Payment Systems Regulator
The UK Payment Systems Regulator published an update on the work it has done to ensure that access, direct or indirect, to payment systems is fairer and also identified next steps to be taken. The PSR has introduced new access and reporting rules for operators and has imposed a disclosure obligation on the four main sponsor banks providing indirect access. The PSR will continue to work with operators and sponsor banks to help them adapt to the new regulatory requirements and will publish the findings from its review of their compliance reports later in 2015. The PSR launched a market review into the supply of indirect access to market systems and aims to publish an interim report on the review by January 2016 and a final report by May 2016.
View the report.
UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Final Terms of Reference for Market Review on Payments System Infrastructure
The Payment Systems Regulator published the final terms of reference for its market review into the ownership and competitiveness of the UK payments system infrastructure. The review aims to ascertain whether current infrastructure services are effective for service users and able to support new developments and innovations. The review focuses in particular on interbank payment systems BACS, FPS and Link, and is based around the seven following questions: (i) whether there is effective competition in the provision of infrastructure services in interbank payments; (ii) whether current ownership arrangements of infrastructure providers affect competition; (iii) whether there are any barriers to effective competition; (iv) what the likelihood is of entry or expansion in respect of provision of infrastructure services; (v) whether there are any efficiencies resulting from the present ownership arrangements; (vi) how demand affects competition in the provision of infrastructure services; and (vii) what the benefits of greater levels of competition might be. The review will aim to address any concerns identified with a view to publishing new directions, recommendations or guidance if necessary, as well as encouraging further industry initiatives and self-regulation if needed. The PSR welcomes views on the key questions outlined in the terms of reference and aims to publish its final report in the second quarter of 2016.
View the terms of reference.