payment service providers

As contactless transactions boom, EU regulators publish draft guidelines on the interplay between the GDPR and PSD2.

By Fiona M. Maclean, Christian F. McDermott, Calum Docherty, and Amy Smyth

Last year, more than half of all payments in the UK were made by card and contactless methods, while cash made up less than a quarter of all payments for the first time, according to the trade association UK Finance. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a cashless society, as governments across Europe encourage citizens and businesses to adopt cashless solutions. At the start of the lockdown, in the spring, ATM transaction volumes in the UK fell 62% year on year, while the daily cash transaction volumes dropped by as much as 90% in Spain, according to the Financial Times.

The Federal Reserve is finally stepping into the real-time payments arena.

By Todd Beauchamp, Loyal T. Horsley, and Deric Behar

On August 5, 2019, the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System (the Fed) announced that it plans to roll out a real-time payment and settlement service by 2023 or 2024. The service, named FedNow, is being developed with the stated goal of modernizing the national payment system. Facing political and societal pressure to upgrade the national payment system, the Fed sought comment on the development of a faster payment service in late 2018. After receiving more than 350 comments, the Fed is now moving forward and seeking additional comment on the best way to design the system so that it maximizes inclusivity and utility for all stakeholders. The Fed envisions that FedNow will capitalize on its nationwide infrastructure to provide consumers, businesses, and banks the ability to safely make and receive immediate and fully settled payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As several PSD2 deadlines approach, PSPs must comply with reporting and notification requirements, as well as with their GDPR obligations.

By Christian F. McDermott, Fiona M. Maclean, and Jagveen Tyndall

Though the majority of the provisions relating to the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into force in the UK on 13 January 2018, the regulatory technical standards (RTS) and strong customer authentication measures (SCA) will come into force on 14 September 2019. The FCA has issued a helpful reminder setting out some important deadlines that payment service providers (PSPs) must meet to be compliant.

Application Programme Interfaces

PSD2 allows third party providers (TPPs) to build payment service infrastructures upon the existing platforms of financial institutions; such institutions must provide TPPs with access to client account information via open application programme interfaces (APIs). Financial institutions seeking to enable such access can do so by either constructing dedicated interfaces built on these APIs or through adjusting existing customer interfaces. In both instances, such interfaces and their accompanying customer authentication measures must be in place by 14 September 2019.