The PSD2 has introduced the concept of “Access‐Account” (XS2A), which addresses liability, IT and cost concerns in the banking industry. However, the big question: does PSD2 pose a threat to banks through disintermediation, or will it benefit the industry by fostering business and innovation.

PSD2 requires that all firms offering payment accounts accessible on-line (Account Servicing Payment Service Provider-ASPSP) to provide access on a non-discriminatory basis for Third Party Providers (TPPs) to user accounts. This access will be subject to bank customer consent. ASPSP will grant TPPs the following:

  • confirmation of available funds;
  • operating payment initiation; and
  • information on customer account.

TTPs can be either Account Information Service Providers (AISPs) or Payment Information Service Providers (PISPs). Both are within the scope of the PSD2. While AISPs need to be licensed, PISPs only need to register with their regulator to provide insurance cover. Regulating the activity of these TPPs is one of the most important aspects of the new Directive.

Because it is dealing with new players, ASPSP will face new liabilities. As per PSD2, where the payment transaction is initiated through a PISP, the ASPSP shall immediately refund the full amount for any unauthorised payment transaction. If the PISP is liable for the unauthorised payment transaction, it shall immediately compensate the ASPSP. However, PSD2 does not subordinate order delivery services (i.e. account information) against any contractual relationship between the PISP / AISP and the ASPSP. As a result, the details of distribution of responsibility is an open question.

The burden for banks seems to be even heavier after the EBA published on February 2017 the final draft of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), which requires each ASPSP, for online payment accounts, to have at least one interface in place, either the interface of the bank or one created ad hoc for access by TPPs with the same level of availability and performance as the interface available by their own customers.