European Parliament votes to make online payments safer
The European Parliament has adopted European Commission's proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments, it said in a press release.
The draft law was approved by 578 votes to 29, with 52 abstentions. The law now needs to be officially endorsed by EU member states before it can enter into force.
Updating EU rules on payment services will cut the cost of paying bills, by enabling new market players to use mobile and online tools to make payments on a client's behalf, said Members of European Parliament (MEPs). These rules, informally agreed by MEPs and ministers last May, also aim to make online payments safer, by laying down data protection and liability rules for all online payment service providers.
"The EU payment services market remains fragmented and expensive, costing €130 billion, or over 1 per cent of EU GDP, a year. The EU economy cannot afford these costs, if it wants to be globally competitive”, said lead MEP Antonio Tajani . "The new regulatory framework will reduce costs, improve the security of payments and facilitate the emergence of new players and innovative new mobile and internet payment methods," he added.
The European Commission has welcomed the adoption of its proposal by the European Parliament of the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2). This new law, proposed by the European Commission in July 2013, enhances consumer protection, promotes innovation and improves the security of payment services. PSD2 is the latest in a series of laws recently adopted by the EU in order to provide for modern, efficient and cheap payment services and to enhance protection for European consumers and businesses.
Commissioner Jonathan Hill, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "European consumers want to know that their payments are safe when they shop or make a payment online. The new Payment Services Directive will ensure that electronic payments in Europe become more secure and more convenient for European shoppers. This legislation is a step towards a digital single market; it will benefit consumers and businesses, and help the economy grow. I want to thank the European Parliament for the work it has put into reaching this agreement, and pay tribute to the work of rapporteur Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Parliament.”
The draft law calls for Introduction of strict security requirements for the initiation and processing of electronic payments and the protection of consumers' financial data.
It calls for opening the EU payment market for companies offering consumer or business-oriented payment services based on the access to information about the payment account – the so called "payment initiation services providers" and "account information services providers".
The draft law enhances consumers' rights in numerous areas, including reducing the liability for non-authorised payments, introducing an unconditional ("no questions asked") refund right for direct debits in euro.
It also prohibits surcharge (additional charges for the right to pay e.g. with a card) whether the payment instrument is used in shops or online. (SH)
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