European Parliament Approves PSD
Today the European Parliament adopted the proposal for the Payment Services Directive (PSD) for which the ECOFIN Council had already agreed a general approach at its meeting on 27 March 2007. The text of the PSD will now be forwarded to the EU Council for final adoption. The Member States should then transpose the Directive as early as possible, and by 1 November 2009 at the latest, into national law. The aim of the PSD is to ensure that payments within the EU – in particular credit transfer, direct debit and card payments – become as easy, efficient, and secure as domestic payments within a Member State, by providing the legal foundation to make the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) possible. The PSD will reinforce the rights and protection of all the users of payment services (consumers, retailers, large and small companies and public authorities). The European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission share a common vision for the SEPA and constantly monitor and support the process leading to its realisation. The ECB and the European Commission regard the adoption of the PSD by the European Parliament as a decisive step towards the realisation of the SEPA. The Directive will greatly facilitate the operational implementation of SEPA instruments by the banking industry, as well as their adoption by end-users, by harmonising the applicable legal framework. This will provide the foundation for a single “domestic” euro payments market. The Directive will also underpin consumer protection and enhance competition and innovation by establishing an appropriate prudential framework for new entrants to the retail payments market. This should encourage technological progress and the realisation of new product opportunities, such as e-invoicing, which can provide major benefits to the wider economy. So far, significant progress has been achieved by the European Payments Council and the European banking industry at large towards the realisation of the SEPA. With the proposal for the PSD now adopted by the European Parliament, the ECB and the European Commission urge the banking industry and all other stakeholders to maintain momentum and intensify preparation for the launch of the SEPA by 1 January 2008, and for its subsequent successful and timely implementation. The ECB and the European Commission will continue to support these efforts.