The Federal Act on the Provision of Payment Services 2018 (ZaDiG) sets forth the rules under which payment service providers may operate and service users are protected. Payment service providers are not able to opt out of various transparency, information and other obligations when providing their services to consumers. Direct cash transactions between payer and payee, under Section 3(3)(1) ZaDiG, are, however, exempted. The general civil law rules apply to direct cash transactions.
Consumer protection measures are mainly set forth as part of the duties of payment service providers to inform consumers (Article 26 et seq ZaDiG) as well as the rules applicable to transaction content (HiKrG with respect to a mortgage credit, etc.).ii Recent developments
The market for online payment services including mobile payment services is increasing rapidly, in part because of the developing fintech culture and good mechanisms for start-ups. Innovative ideas with respect to the identification of new clients and the usability of mobile and online payment methods are becoming more and more important, and banks are looking to cover the gap between client demand for easy and quick payment methods and the legal framework requiring the banks to provide high safety standards and comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing regulations, and know-your-client duties.
Financial technology start-ups (fintechs) and financial innovation think tanks are driving the market's development and bringing new challenges with them. The FMA has set up on its homepage a FinTech Navigator, which is continuously updated and includes the option of contacting the regulator directly if the company does not already have a licence. The first fintech firm received a MiFID 2 licence in 2018.