A study on the application and impact of Directive (EU) 2015/2366 on Payment Services (PSD2)

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Fredrik Andersson, Beatriz Pozo Pérez, Willem Pieter de Groen, Tamás Kiss-Gálfalvi, Jelmer Nagtegaal, Inna Oliinyk, Meryem Gökten, Agustina Korenblit

European retail payments markets have undergone a significant transformation over recent years. Technological development has spurred a fast-paced evolution in payment services. Importantly, progress in FinTech led to the involvement of many new players and brought new payment solutions to the market. While cash remains popular, there is an irreversible trend towards cashless payments. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a further increase in the popularity of non-cash payments.

In such a fast-paced market, there is a clear need to periodically update and introduce new rules governing the sector. The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into force in 2016 (with a transposition deadline of 2018). The PSD2 constitutes the EU’s most comprehensive regulatory framework for retail payments.

This study contributes to the evaluation of the PSD2 undertaken by the European Commission. It assesses whether the introduction of the Directive helped reach the five general objectives identified at the time of its adoption, namely:

  1. To create an environment which helps innovative payment services to reach a broader market
  2. To further level the playing field for payment service providers by including new players;
  3. To increase the efficiency, transparency and choice of payment instruments for payment service users;
  4. To enhance protection for European consumers and businesses;
  5. To facilitate the provision of card, internet and mobile payment services across borders within the EU by ensuring a Single Market for payments.

The report analyses the key trends that have affected the payments market and the performance of the Directive in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and added value. Based on the conclusions of this assessment, the report identifies a number of areas where there is room for improvement and provides a set of recommendations regarding possible PSD2 revisions.


The report was prepared by CEPS in cooperation with VVA (consortium leader) for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA).

This report is also co-authored by Ivan Bosch Chen, Davide Fina, Pierre Hausemer, Andrej Henžel, Christian Neumann, Nelly Patroclou and Charu Wilkinson from VVA.