On 19 February 2019, the rules of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) entered into force in the Netherlands. The Dutch competition authority (ACM) enforces the competition aspects of PSD2 and issued a publication regarding its new supervisory tasks (link).

PSD2 aims to promote competition and innovation in the market for payment services. As indicated in our previous Bankbits, the payment services market is already under close scrutiny of competition authorities such as the European Commission (link) and the ACM (link). In addition, the ACM indicated that it has high expectations of the impact of PSD2 on this market (link).

In its publication, the ACM indicates how it will monitor compliance with the following (innovative) aspects of PSD2.

1. Access to bank accounts and payment systems

The key innovation of PSD2 is that it enables account holders to use new payment initiation and account information services provided by third parties. In order to offer such payment services, it is essential that third parties have access to bank accounts and payment systems. The ACM emphasizes in its press release that:

  • the ACM will check whether banks treat everyone equally when providing access to bank accounts and whether such access is extensive enough in order to offer payment services; and
  • access to payment systems should not unnecessarily be restricted or denied.

2. Surcharging

Under PSD2 retailers are no longer allowed to charge fees for the majority of payment methods, including debit cards, direct debit, most credit cards and wire transfers. With regard to other payment methods, retailers are only allowed to charge actual costs. The ACM also monitors compliance with this obligation.

Last, it is worth noting that the ACM also indicates that it received tip-offs from new competitors that they experience difficulties getting access to the systems of existing banks. The ACM remarks that it will closely examine some of these tip-offs.