Building a common payment market in Europe
The all-inclusive European integration process is also manifest in the finance sector. In order to increase the effectiveness of consumer rights protection, a common payment market is being developed in the European Economic Area, which includes all the EU member states as well as Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein (EEA countries). Payments within this market in the Euro and in the national currencies of the EEA countries will be subject to uniform rules. Legal conditions for such novelties are created by the Payment Services Directive, PSD – a legal document that regulates payment services within Europe.
The aim of the Payment Services Directive is to establish and legalize uniform terms for various payment services in Europe as well as payment services rules for money transfers in national and European formats. The new document is binding to all EEA states. The Directive is also a necessary legal platform for creating a common area of payments in the Euro known as the Single Euro Payments Area, SEPA.
Key requirements of the Directive
A key requirement is to provide users of payment services with the main transaction information. This will contribute towards higher transparency of payments. Another requirement sets maximum possible execution time for electronic payments (money transfers) within the European Economic Area. The Directive also regulates the procedure for charging users for payment services: key feature is the stipulation that the full amount of a payment transaction will reach the payee’s bank account end-to-end without any deductions from the principal amount by correspondent banks participating in the transaction.
Launch day: 1 November 2009
The Directive provisions are currently transposed to national legislations of the EEA states. In some countries, for instance Germany and the United Kingdom, the provisions of the Directive have already been transposed to the national laws and will take effect on 1 November 2009. Some countries are in delay with the implementation of the Directive. In Lithuania, a new wording of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Payments in line with the PSD will be deliberated by the Seimas in November 2009.
All the banks within the SEB Group operating in twelve EEA countries plan to start following the new rules from 1 November 2009. SEB Bank in Lithuania is already compliant with many of the requirements under the Directive, however, certain further changes in payment services have been envisaged.
SEB Bank takes part in the European integration processes
Since early 2008, SEB Bank has been running preparatory projects for the application of the requirements of the Directive in twelve EEA states in which the SEB Group operates. With a view to ensure that the requirements of the Directive are observed and uniform payment market and infrastructure rules are applied, the bank actively participates in numerous national and international forums and in the activities of the European Payments Council.
In the long run, customers will find out the advantages of the common payment market in terms of simplified cross-border transactions, payments for travel or goods as well as a higher competitive edge of the European financial market.
If you have any further questions about the novelties in connection with the implementation of the Directive and relevant legislation, do not hesitate to get in touch with your contact at SEB Bank or your nearest unit of SEB Bank. For queries please call at 1528 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.