National regulators delaying EU payments harmonisation

National regulators delaying EU payments harmonisation

European banks are losing confidence in their ability to meet impending deadlines for new EU payments rules mandated by the Payment Services Directive, and are blaming the slowdown on failures in national regulation.

A survey conducted by PSE Consulting of 37 senior industry participants found that one in four think they are unlikely to be ready by November 2009.

Almost 70% of those questioned believed that the transposition of the legislation into national law would not be available until after Q3 2009, leaving precious little time for institutions to become compliant.

Although regulators are providing support in areas such as guidance notes and input to drafting, says PSE, only 20% of those questioned thought they would be given sufficient time to implement the PSD. In addition, almost half did not believe that their organisation had received clarification on key issues by the regulators.

In particular, scope and definition of transaction accounts and the treatment of exchange rates are still a major worry for over half of those who participated.

Specifically updating merchant terms and conditions, merchant settlement times and the ability to correct errors on accounts are three of the most important and complex tasks that need to be actioned, says PSE.

Last week, the UK became only the first European nation to pass the PSD into national law, bringing certainty to a process that has been dogged by vested interest lobbying, intractable interchange disputes and ambiguity from the outset.

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