The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs have published their proposal for a new Directive to adapt the proposed PSD II.

The Committee on Legal Affairs (the “Committee”) has set out its proposals detailing its aim to ensure legal certainty and a level playing field.  New rules will be introduced to enhance transparency, innovation and security in the field of retail payments with more consistency among national rules.

On the face of it, the Committee’s proposed Amendment 6 in relation to the freezing of funds and whether a payment institution should retain or release them, creates a clear conflict between the users’ obligations under PSD II and the effect of a judicial decision seeking to freeze funds. In circumstances where a court has been satisfied as to the reason why funds are not being released, is it really desirable where there has been a detailed judicial review of the underlying circumstances behind the dispute to release the funds in any event.

The Committee’s proposed Amendment 12 to set a maximum amount of funds that may be blocked in relation to payments where the amount of the transaction is not known at the time of purchase is sensible. However, there is a danger in adopting a “one cap fits all” approach. What may seem an appropriate period of time for one type of industry may not be appropriate in others. Each industry should be looked at individually to ensure the appropriateness of any timeframe set.

What this means for you

The original Payment Services Directive left a number of important questions for the industry unanswered or open to a variety of interpretations. The current draft of PSD II still leaves a vacuum in specific areas, which require certainty. It would seem sensible for the payment services industry to be given the opportunity to have a stronger voice in the Directive’s formation and implementation as opposed to handing over their voice to committees and representatives.