To create a single European payments area, it is not enough just to harmonise transfer, direct debit and bank card systems. It also involves overcoming all kinds of legal obstacles. Every country has its own laws and regulations in terms of national payments.
That's where the European Payment Services Directive (PSD) comes in. This effectively governs payments in the 27 European Union Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Belgium has already transposed the directive into national legislation (law published on 15 January 2010 to come into effect on 1 April 2010).
What is the aim of the directive?
A uniform system in all European countries
At the moment, the regulations on payment services vary widely between countries. The Directive establishes a common basis for cards, transfers and direct debits.
Better protection for the consumer
The Directive defines clearly the rights and obligations of users and providers of payment services. One essential aspect is the transparency of information in relation to charges and turnaround times.
More competition in the payment services market
As a result of the Directive, non-banking organisations can also provide payment services to private individuals and businesses, subject to certain conditions, of course.
Faster processing of payments
The Directive defines the maximum processing time for each payment service. Payments within SEPA will therefore be faster and more reliable.
More advantageous value date system
- When a debtor's account is debited: the value date of the transaction cannot be earlier than the date on which the withdrawal was actually made.
- When the recipient's account is credited: the value date of the transaction cannot be later than the date on which the transfer was actually made.
European Payment Services Directive (pdf, FR)
European Payment Services Directive (pdf, NL)