The EBA’s and the ECB’s recent move to step up cooperation in making retail payments safer

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The European Banking Authority (‘EBA’) published a consultation paper on the implementation of its Guidelines on the security of internet payments, the output of work undertaken in conjunction with the European Central Bank (‘ECB’), with the basis of much of the guidelines being work by the European Forum for the Security of Retail Payments. The EBA expects these proposed guidelines to enter into force in August 2015. Dr. Matthias Terlau and Dr. Daniel Walter of Osborne Clarke discuss the compliance expectations for payment service providers and analyse the critical aspects of the proposed guidelines.

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Strong Customer Authentification under PSD2 and SecuRe Pay Internet

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Both, EU Commission and ECB are particularly engaged to make internet payments more secure. The ECB formed a forum of European central banks and supervisory authorities, called SecuRe Pay, to discuss and eventually agree on a set of rules for the enhancing of security of internet payments, one of the most important of such rules being the strong customer authentification when making internet payments or accessing payment data. The rules were finally issued as recommendations of the ECB in January 2014.
The EU Commission included in July 2014 the same basic rule on strong customer authentification within its proposal for a Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

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German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) publishes guidance on Bitcoins

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Following recent legal developments regarding Bitcoins, such as the US court decisions in the cases of “Bitcoin Foundation” and “Trendon Savers & Bitcoin Savings Trust”, a US Congress hearing on Bitcoins, the prohibition of the receipt of Bitcoins by financial service providers in China as well as the warnings issued by the French National Bank and the European Financial Supervisory Authority, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has also issued a circular on Bitcoins on 19 December 2013 in order to clarify potential risks for con-sumers as well as authorisation requirements for Bitcoin traders and online platforms.

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PSD2 – Lieferheld & Co – No more handling of payments by eCommerce platforms?

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As is generally known, the supervisory authorities have had to decide on numerous negative clearances regarding eCommerce platforms over the past two years. These were – in their own understandable interest – intending to collect payments from end-consumers for vendors of goods and services offered on the platform. In most cases these companies were relying on an exemption from the authorisation requirement created by PSD1 which applied to payment transactions through a commercial agent authorised to negotiate or conclude the sale or purchase of goods or services on behalf of the payer or the payee. On 24th of July 2013 the European Commission published a proposal for a new Directive on payment services in the internal market (PSD2), in which the Commission argues for a stricter assessment of such exception rule.

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