Back in October last year, fscom director Alison Donnelly wrote a blog on the FCA’s consultation on new rules for payment and e-money institutions. As explained in that blog, due to FCA concern with how some e-money and payment institutions have communicated with their customers in the past, certain sections of the FCA Handbook are being applied to payment and e-money institutions.
In my previous blog, I outlined the basic requirements of the new obligation, brought in under PSD2 (the second Payment Services Directive), for all payment service providers to apply strong customer authentication (SCA) in certain circumstances. SCA has to be applied both when accessing payment account information and when initiating a payment transaction meaning that a customer checking their account and then paying a couple of bills would have to go through SCA multiple times in one session, which is far from ideal on the user-experience scale. To avoid this, you, as a payment service provider (PSP) can apply one of nine exemptions, if circumstances permit.
Strong customer authentication (SCA) is a valid attempt by the EU to curb electronic payment fraud, including ‘card-not-present’ fraud. From a glance the concept is fairly simple, it will be a regulatory obligation to apply two factor authentication (2FA) to the electronic payment process. However, it’s not all quite as simple as that as SCA has more requirements than just the frequently touted 2FA. This blog will provide the basics on SCA and subsequent blogs will go into more detail on the exemptions and how SCA differs from simple 2FA.
As we marked the first anniversary of PSD2 implementation (at least, in the UK!) this week, there will doubtless be numerous conversation pieces and reflections about the success of PSD2 so far – and its relationship with Open Banking – and what more delights both have to offer in 2019, the year the UK is supposed to leave the European Union.
New rules for payment and e-money institutions
Over the past couple of months, the FCA has been consulting on whether to apply the Principles for Businesses, and some other Handbook rules, to payment and e-money institutions and registered account information service providers. This marks another step in the FCA’s journey towards greater supervision of the non-bank payment services sector.
In a previous blog post, I took a look at the upcoming access changes to the UK’s RTGS system (the Clearing House Automated Payment System) and, in the blog post before that, the UK’s new payment architecture. In the latter, you might remember, we touched on the consolidation of three separate payment service operators (PSOs) – Bacs, Faster Payments Service and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company – under a New Payments Service Operator (NPSO).
There has been a lot of talk in the financial sector surrounding the topic of PSD2; flagging deadlines, the implications of non-compliance and the opportunities open banking presents. But what about the other industries affected by the new regulation? From the charities and even the accountancy firms that now fall under the FCA’s watchful eye? Have they been forgotten about amid the vicissitudes?
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.