The Payment Services Directive: Pitfalls between the Acquis Communautaire and National Implementation

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Maria Chiara Malaguti

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was published in late 2007, constituting the legal basis for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The industry initiative launched on 28 January 2008 aims at replacing fragmented national markets for payment services with one integrated system.

Although deadlines for both the transposition of the PSD into national law and the full availability for SEPA standards are set, many questions lack clear answers and need to be addressed accordingly. Given the numerous directives and different regulations affecting payment service providers, the partial duplication and interlinking between the various provisions are prone to creating a legislative labyrinth. This ECRI Research Report attempts to address the main concerns, as it tests the PSD against some of the most advanced payment business models, and to offer a comprehensive evaluation of the Community regulation of payment services within SEPA. While evidencing a number of critical issues in the reading and implementation of the PSD, the paper looks at this ambitious and challenging exercise of the European institutions and presents a number of provocative considerations that it is hoped will be of general value.