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PSD2 Directive and its implication in marketplaces

The  PSD2 Directive (PSD2, Payment Services Directive (EU) 2015/2366) is a European regulation that strengthens the security of electronic and online payments in the EU in marketplaces.

The Payment Services Directive 2, commonly known as PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2), applies to subjects that are in some way involved in the field of electronic payment services.

Categories to which PSD2 applies

 has already been established . Now, the main categories of entities to which PSD2 applies are the following:

  • Payment service providers (PSPs): That is, banks, financial institutions, financial technology companies (fintech), and any Famous trademark registration services that offers payment services to their clients, understood as intermediary companies between clients and banks and those that offer consumers to make payments through their platforms and connect them to a bank to complete the operation.
  • Payment service users: Consumers and businesses that use payment services, such as credit cards, bank transfers, and other payment methods.
  • Third party payment service providers (TPSPs): These are actors that are not the banks or financial institutions themselves, but that offer payment-related services. Examples of TPSPs include companies that provide account aggregation services, payment initiation services, and other payment-related services.

PSD2 objectives in marketplaces

The main objective of PSD2 is to increase the security of online payment transactions, promote innovation and competition in the payment services sector, as well as improve consumer protection.

To achieve these goals, PSD2 introduces specific requirements for two-factor authentication (SCA), bank account access rules for TPSPs, and other provisions related to payment services.

Those companies that fit the description of payment service providers must process the corresponding authorization at the Bank of Spain, since these are entities that must be supervised and meet minimum requirements to be able to continue operating in the market.

Impact of PSD2 on marketplaces

In this sense, the PSD2 Directive establishes different assumptions that would be excluded from it, among them point b) of its article 3: Payment operations through an authorized commercial agent, which currently corresponds to marketplaces.

Now, and this is where we see the problem with marketplaces, the Directive in its recital 11 establishes the following “ … the exclusion applies when the agent acts solely on behalf of the payer or solely on behalf of the beneficiary, regardless of whether the client’s funds whether or not they are in their possession.

If the agent acts on behalf of both the payer and the beneficiary (as is the case with certain electronic commerce platforms), the exclusion should only apply to him if the client’s funds are not in his possession at any time.

Therefore, in cases in which the commercial agent (marketplace) keeps the funds of users and clients in its possession and thus acts as an intermediary in payments, the Directive will apply. This represents an important change from the successor rule, the old PSD1, since PSD2 has eliminated this key exemption that previously allowed marketplaces to operate without a payment service provider license.

In a marketplace scenario, where a platform acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, without carrying out direct transactions, PSD2 poses a significant challenge. Platforms can no longer receive funds from buyers and then transfer them to sellers without acquiring a payment processing license. This implies stricter regulation and the need to implement and comply with the regulatory requirements established by the same Directive.

With this, the regulator seeks to guarantee that online transactions comply with consumer protection standards, the prevention of money laundering and fair competition throughout the European Union that provides all guarantees to both users and suppliers.

The most important change is that if platforms act on behalf of buyers and sellers, they will only be able to avoid the obligation to obtain a license as payment service providers if the transaction funds are not stored in their accounts or under their control. direct control. Instead, they have the option of using payment service providers that are already licensed to handle payment transactions.

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