All questions

Payments

i Overview

As of 13 January 2018, payment methods became regulated by the New PSA, which establishes conditions under which payment service providers may provide their services. Consumer protection in this respect consists of, in particular, information obligations of the payment system providers towards the consumers and the setting of deadlines for the processing of payment transactions.

The PSA does not apply to direct cash transactions, which fall under general civil law regulation. The Act on the Restriction of Cash Payments sets forth certain cases where payment may only be made via a wire transfer (for instance a payment exceeding the amount of 270,000 koruna).

The Czech Republic remains the leading country in the EU for contactless payments. The use of contactless payment cards has seen a sharp increase in the Czech Republic over the past few years, with all the major banks offering contactless payment cards. According to statistics from 2018, 91 per cent of Czech citizens own a contactless payment card and 69 per cent of them prefer contactless payments.

ii Recent developments

In 2016 the amendment to the PSA, which implemented Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features, was adopted and came into force and effect as of 1 March 2017. This amendment enables consumers to easily switch between payment accounts of different banks while preserving all their recurring payments settings. The amendment also requires that banks use uniform labelling of services provided in connection with payment accounts, which should provide consumers with a better opportunity to compare similar services provided by different banks and their prices.

As of 13 January 2018, the New PSA came into force, implementing the Second Payment Services Directive. This New PSA will introduce various new measures aimed at stronger protection of consumers (including mandatory two-factor identification, and lowering the participation for losses caused by unauthorised payments and stolen payment instruments from €150 to €50).

The Act No. 297/2016 Coll. on Trust Services for Electronic Transactions (TSA) was adopted in 2016 and implemented Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC. The TSA regulates only the aspects which the Regulation expressly determines are to be regulated at national level, such as certain practices of, and requirements imposed on, trust service providers and rules regarding electronic signatures, electronic seals and the preservation of documents using electronic time stamps. It further establishes the Ministry of Interior as the trust service providers' supervising authority. The Act does not regulate electronic identification as this is governed by Act No. 250/2017 Coll., which came into effect on 1 July 2018.