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European Payment Institutions Federation

EPIF believes that the EBA should start by determining users’ requirements of the EBA Register which, once settled, will drive the requirements for information transmission. EPIF members are concerned that the effect of the EBA’s approach – which starts with the disparate functionalities of current Member State registers, and therefore builds from a base level which is inherently sub-optimal – is to restrict the operational effectiveness of the new EBA Register.
Manual insertion and overnight updates means that the EBA Register is not, at any point in time, necessarily accurate and cannot be relied upon as a single version of the truth by its users (which include EPIF’s members). There is, clearly, an alternative, which is to drive change by designing the EBA Register by starting with the needs of its users and ensuring that Member States amend the design and functionality of their individual registers accordingly. Whilst this would have the effect of necessitating significant change in some Member States’ registers, we consider that this must be a price worth paying for having an always-on, always-accurate, fit-for-purpose EU-wide Register. PSD2 is an opportunity to further drive forward innovation in European payments and it needs to be supported by modern regulatory tools.
No. The EBA’s unwillingness to insist that National Competent Authorities enhance their own Registers to maximise interoperability with a Europe-wide Register means that the EBA Register does not deliver what its main users – payment services providers – require of it.
In particular, EPIF’s members were expecting the EBA Register to enable account servicing payment services providers (ASPSPs) to identify payment initiation services providers (PISPs) and account information services providers (AISPs) and vice-versa, so as to facilitate the smooth interaction between the various types of PSP. The lack of machine readability and the absence of licensed credit institutions mean that the new European payments eco-system is still missing an important element – a machine-readable directory or directories which can be used to verify other participants’ credentials. Whilst we are aware that there are some national and private sector initiatives in place to create such directories, this is likely to create fragmentation and add an additional layer of costs. Of course, an additional “directory layer” would need the underlying EBA Register to be more regularly updated than daily and include information about credit institutions.
EPIF does not accept the EBA’s rationale in sections 23 and 24 for not designing such a fit-for-purpose Register. It is quite clear to us that a machine-readable EBA Register that accesses machine-readable national registers using APIs, would be an effective method of ensuring that verification of a PSP’s authorization has taken place in the manner envisaged by the Level 1 text (ie directly to the national register and holder of the underlying information). Furthermore, we believe that the EBA is mistaken in suggesting that such additional functionality represents “marginal added value” when it is an important element of the eco-system that would have to be created elsewhere – at even greater cost – if not undertaken by the EBA.
The non-functional requirements seem reasonable to us. However, if the EBA were to accept our request for a significantly enhanced Register than that implicit from the consultation document, the safety requirements, availability and performance criteria would also need improving.
No. EPIF is disappointed by the EBA’s strict interpretation of its legal mandate, in particular its insistence on excluding credit institutions and not designing a directory that is fit-for-purpose.
No. EPIF is clear that the information contained in the EBA Register should be that which is required to enable the smooth operation of the post-PSD2 payments ecosystem, rather than the lowest common denominator of what is already stored on the registers of National Competent Authorities.
No. It is important that a PSP in one Member State is able to contact appropriate people working for a PSP in another Member State, if there are issues or disputes that require resolution.
EPIF does not accept that current different national practices represent sufficient rationale for failing to include information that would be useful for PSPs. PSD2 represents a significant opportunity to redesign the eco-system to enable a wide range of new participants and helps with the creation of a pan-European Digital Single Market. Relying on the approaches of the past represents an obstacle to the realisation of such an opportunity.
Yes.
Yes.
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Nickolas Reinhardt
+3225881304