It's all go in the payments world at the moment. The EU is trying to hammer out a new payment services directive (PSD2), while the UK's new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is setting up shop ahead of its official launch in April 2015.
The PSR has just announced the results of a joint market study with Ofcom on the level of innovation in the payments sector, which casts doubt on certain aspects of PSD2.
In addition, the PSR has published its response to an earlier consultation on its proposed rules for regulating payment systems. The term "payment system" is defined very broadly as:
“a system which is operated by one or more persons in the course of business for the purpose of enabling persons to make transfers of funds, and includes a system which is designed to facilitate the transfer of funds using another payment system.”The intention behind the rules are to:
- set a new approach to industry strategy development - a new 'Payments Strategy Forum';
- change the governance and control of payment systems to ensure greater transparency and representation of users in decision making, avoidance of conflicts of interest, publication of board minutes and compliance reports to the PSR;
- make it easier for participants of all sizes to access payment systems – directly or indirectly;
- action on interchange if EC regulation is delayed; and
- require system operators to discuss significant developments with the PSR in advance and on an on-going basis.