The third in my trilogy of PSD2 blogs from ‘Inside the Regulator’. However, as we are now entering uncertain and uncharted territory, in terms of firms that failed to submit applications for re-authorisation in time, my insights are more presumptive than previously.
Drawing on my experience of heading up the Payment Services Authorisations Team at the FCA for many years, I spoke last week (http://blog.fscom.co.uk/psd2-a-glimpse-inside-the-regulator) about the FCA’s expectations for authorisations and re-authorisations, and offered some insight into how they might approach the challenges brought about by PSD2. I now explore the risks inherent in firms wishing to ‘upgrade’ their licences, the new entrants under PSD2 and the FCA’s approach to supervision.
Much of our time is, and seems always to have been, spent trying to interpret exactly what the regulations or, more importantly, the Regulator is expecting. A leading question asked by many compliance officers is, 'what do they expect of my company?'. This is often where the compliance consultant comes in.
It’s been five months since the FCA’s doors opened to applications from the new payment service providers, often referred to as third party providers (TPPs), and two months since they could appear on the Register so it’s a good time to ask how many have seized the opportunity presented by the second payment services directive (PSD2).
The answer is: ‘not so many’.
To some, 13 January and the implementation of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will be a significant milestone in their business’s path. They will be joining the community of the regulated financial services sector, which means that their owners and managers take on significant additional liability and are subject to a new level of scrutiny. They will have to meet certain standards and requirements ranging from the information they must give their customers to the type of insurance they must hold (in the case of the payment initiation and account information service providers) to how they treat client money (for authorised payment and e-money institutions and small e-money institutions).
When does a great deal turn out to be not such a great deal? When a credit card surcharge is added right at the end. Such hidden surcharges will be a thing of the past, mostly, come mid-January when the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is implemented.
Last week, Project Regulator, which I lead on behalf of the Emerging Payments Association, hosted a special briefing on the new payments architecture organised by the inspirational and indefatigable, Anne Pieckielon, Director of Product and Strategy at bacs.
The gateway for PSD2 applications opens today. About 500 authorised payment institutions and e-money institutions and 150 payment initiation and account information service providers are expected to submit applications to the FCA over the next few months in order to be authorised by 13 January (in the case of payment initiation and account information service providers) or re-authorised by 12 July in the case of those firms already authorised.
If you are a CEO, board member or otherwise involved in delivering a business strategy or IT you probably feel like you are walking around with a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) gremlin hanging on your back. It’s whispering the words ‘consent’, ‘processing’, ‘big fines’ and lets no forget ‘privacy statement’ into your ears day in, day out and as May 2018 approaches that soft whisper may start to feel like it’s becoming louder and more aggressive. The gremlin is feeding on continuous marketing emails, blogs (but hopefully not mine!) and newsletters arriving in your inbox with the nightmare scenarios for your company if you don’t get a move on and turn your business into a GDPR paradise. Employing their services to do so, of course.