The first Payment Services Directive (PSD1) was proposed by the European Commission in 2005, and adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2007.

Since then, the retail payments market has grown significantly, and new payment services have been developed. However, the payments market is still fragmented along national borders; some payment products and services are out of scope, and some of PSD1 is "too ambiguous, too general or simply outdated". This has resulted in "legal uncertainty, potential security risks in the payment chain and a lack of consumer protection in certain areas". It has also made it difficult for innovative and easy to use digital payment services to "take off".

The European Commission has therefore proposed "new rules … to close the regulatory gaps[; provide] more legal clarity[; ensure] a consistent application of the legislative framework across the Union[; facilitate] new means of payment …and [ensure] a high level of consumer protection … across … the Union".1

For the purposes of this client alert we have assumed that, if these new rules are made, they will be in materially the same form as the draft second Payment Services Directive, Presidency Compromise text, of 1 December 2014 (PSD2). If they are, PSD2 will repeal and replace PSD1; many of the provisions in PSD2 will be materially the same as those in PSD1; but some will require more than they require today, and others will be entirely new. For brevity and simplicity, this client alert is concerned only with the most significant differences between PSD1 and PSD2. We have not used it to summarise the existing regime.


PSD1 applies to "payment services provided within the Community". However, PSD1 Title III (Transparency of conditions and information requirements for payment services),2 and PSD1 Title IV (Rights and obligations in relation to the provision and use of payment services),3 only apply:4

  • Where both the payer's payment services provider (PSP) and the payee's PSP are, or the sole PSP is, in the EU; and
  • To payment services that use the Euro or the currency of an EU Member State outside the Eurozone.

PSD2 will apply more widely because (for example):

  • It will also apply to:
    • The carrying out of two new payment services (payment initiation services, and account information services, as to which, see below);5 and
    • Payment transactions initiated by the payee, the payer and those initiated on the payer's behalf;6 and
  • Most of PSD2 Title III7 and PSD2 Title IV8 will also apply9 to:
    • Transactions in any currency, if both the payer's PSP and the payee's PSP, or the sole PSP, are located in the Union; and
    • Payment transactions where only one of the PSPs is in the EU, in respect of those parts of the payments transaction which are carried out in the EU (these arrangements are sometimes referred to as "one leg out" transactions).

Payment initiation services

Article 58 of PSD2 will require the EU Member States to:

  • Ensure that payers have the right to use a payment initiation service provider (PISP) to obtain payment initiation services;
  • Require the account servicing PSPs domiciled in their jurisdiction to:

    "(a) provide facilities to securely communicate with [PISPs]in accordance with article 87a, paragraph 1(d);

    (b) immediately after the receipt of the payment order from a [PISP,] provide information on the initiation of the payment transaction to the [PISP]; and

    (c) treat payment orders transmitted through the services of a [PISP] without any discrimination, in particular in terms of timing, priority or charges vis-à-vis payment orders transmitted directly by the payer himself, unless objectively justified"; and
  • (When the payer gives its explicit consent for a payment to be executed in accordance with article 57), require their account servicing PSPs:

    "(aa) not to hold … the payer's funds in connection with the provision of the payment initiation services;

    (a) to ensure that any information about the payment service user, obtained when providing payment initiation services, is not accessible to other parties;

    (b) every time a payment is initiated, to authenticate itself towards the account servicing [PSP] of the account owner and communicate with the account servicing [PSP], the payer and the payee in a secure way, in accordance witharticle 87a, paragraph 1(d)

    (d) not to store sensitive payment data of the payment service user and not to request from the payment service user any data other than those necessary to initiate the payment;

    (e) not to use, access and store any data for purposes other than for performing the payment initiation services explicitly requested by the payer; and

    (f) not to modify the amount, the recipient or any other feature of the transaction".

For these purposes:

Click here to view table.

However, PSD2 does not define or explain the terms:

Click here to view table.

Account information services

Article 59 of PSD2 will also require the EU Member States to make sure that payment service users have the right to use payment account information services. To facilitate this, articles 59(2) and (3) of PSD2 will require:

  • The account information service provider (AISP):

    "(a) to provide services only based on the payment service user's explicit consent[as to which, see above];

    (b) for each communication session, authenticate itself towards the account servicing [PSP] of the payment service user and securely communicate with the account servicing [PSP] and the payment service user, in accordance withArticle 87a, paragraph 1,(d)[as to which, see above];

    ([c]) to access only the information from designated payment accounts and associated payment transactions;

    ([d]) not to request sensitive payment data from the payment accounts;

    ([e]) not to use, access and store any data for purposes other than for performing the account information service explicitly requested by the payment service user, in accordance with data protection rules"; and
  • The account servicing PSP to:

    "(a) provide facilities to securely communicate with the [AISP], in accordance with article 87a, paragraph 1,(d)[as to which, see above]; and

    (b) treat data requests transmitted through the services of an [AISP] without any discrimination unless objectively justified [as to which, see above]".

However, "The account servicing [PSP] may deny access to the payment account vis-à-vis an [AISP] or a [PISP] for objectively justified and duly evidenced reasons related to unauthorised or fraudulent access to the payment account…" In such cases, "the [PSP] shall inform the payer of the blocking … and the reasons for it …, where possible, before [the account is] blocked and at the latest immediately thereafter, unless giving such information would compromise objectively justified security reasons or is prohibited by [law]. The [PSP] shall [also] unblock the [account] once the reasons for blocking no longer exist"10.

For these purposes:

Click here to view table.

Strong customer authentication

Under article 87 of PSD2, the EU Member States will be obliged to ensure that PSPs apply "strong customer authentication when the payer:(a) accesses his payment account on-line; (b) initiates an electronic remote payment transaction; [or] (c) carries out any action, through a remote channel, which may imply a risk of payment fraud or other abuses".

Member States must also ensure that PSPs:

  • Meet specific security requirements to protect the confidentiality and integrity of payment service users' "personalised security credentials"; and
  • (Where a payer initiates an electronic remote payment transaction) adopt "strong customer authentication that shall include elements dynamically linking the transaction to a specific amount and a specific payee".

Draft regulatory technical standards will be developed by the European Banking Authority and submitted to the Commission within 12 months of PSD2 entering into force that will specify:

"(a) the requirements of the strong customer authentication procedure;

(b) the exemptions to the application of [strong customer authentication];

(c) the requirements that technical security measures have to comply with … to protect the confidentiality and the integrity of the payment service users' personalised security credentials; and

(d) common and secure requirements for communication for the purpose of authentication, notification and information between account servicing [PSPs], [PISPs], [AISPs], payers and payees".

For these purposes:

Click here to view table.

Lost or stolen payment instruments and unauthorised payment transactions

Articles 61 to 66 of PSD2 set down the respective obligations of payment services users and PSPs in relation to payment instruments. A payment service user entitled to use a payment instrument will be obliged to "use the payment instrument in accordance with [its] terms … which must be objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate [and] notify the [PSP]… on becoming aware of loss, theft or misappropriation of the payment instrument or of its unauthorised use".

A PSP issuing a payment instrument will be obliged to "ensure that appropriate means are available at all times to enable the payment service user to make a notification [as described above, and]… provide the payer with an option to make a notification … free of charge and to charge, if at all, only replacement costs directly attributed to the payment instrument".

PSD2 will continue to require the PSP to provide rectification to the payment service user if the payment service user "notifies the [PSP] without undue delay on becoming aware of any unauthorised or incorrectly executed payment transactions giving rise to a claim". However, it will also require that "the credit value date for the payer's payment account … be no later than the [debit] date" and that where a transaction is initiated through a PISP, "the account servicing [PSP must] refund immediately the amount of the unauthorised payment transaction" before seeking compensation from the PISP if appropriate.

The payer may be obliged to pay up to a maximum of €50 (the equivalent amount under PSD1 is €150) for "losses relating to any unauthorised payment transactions … resulting from the use of a lost or stolen payment instrument or, if the payer has failed to keep the personalised security credentials safe, from the misappropriation of a payment instrument".

Internal dispute resolution

PSD2 will require PSPs to maintain more robust and complete internal dispute resolution systems than PSD1 requires today. In particular, PSPs will be required to:

"(1) … put in place adequate and effective consumer complaint resolution procedures for the settlement of complaints of payment service users [which are] effective in every Member State where the payment services are offered … and … available in the official language of the Member State the service is offered in.

(2)… make every possible effort to reply … to the payment service users' complaints addressing all points raised … at the latest within 15 business days. In exceptional situations, if the answer cannot be given within 15 business days for reasons beyond the control of the [PSP], it shall send a holding reply clearly indicating the reasons for delay … and specifying the deadline by which the consumer will receive the final reply. That deadline may not, in any case, exceed another 30 business days".

A maximum harmonising directive

PSD2 will be a maximum harmonising directive. The European Member States will not therefore be able to require any more or any less of the firms established in their jurisdictions than PSD2 itself will require. Article 95 of PSD2 lists a small number of exemptions to this rule.

Implementation and next steps

It is not yet clear precisely when:

  • PSD2 will be adopted and come into force;
  • The European Member States will be expected to transpose PSD2 into their national laws; or
  • Payment services providers will be expected to begin to comply with it.

However, we do know that:

  • PSD2 has entered the trilogue negotiation process;
  • When these negotiations have been completed, PSD2 will have to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council before it can be published in the Official Journal of the European Union;
  • PSD2 will come into force on the 20th day after it has been published in the Official Journal;
  • The European Member States will be obliged to transpose it into their national laws within 2 years of the date when PSD2 comes into force; and
  • Payment services providers will be required to comply with the relevant Member State national laws from 2 years after the date when PSD2 comes into force.

The European Parliament / Legislative Observatory file, which records the current position, is available here.