News & Views

EBA’s Opinion on Removal of Obstacles to Account Access Under PSD2 – More Supervisory Actions?

24 February 2021

Authors: Pauliina Sutinen, Jari Tukiainen, Paula Röttorp and Albert Danielsson

On 22 February 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published an opinion on supervisory actions that national competent authorities (NCAs), such as the Finnish or the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, should take in order to ensure the removal of obstacles to account access under the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2).

Pursuant to PSD2, account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs), such as banks, are required to establish the access interfaces through which third-party providers (e.g. payment initiation or account information service providers) can access customers’ payment accounts in a secure manner for the provision of their services.

As of 13 September 2019, ASPSPs have been required to provide a dedicated interface for the purposes of account access and to ensure that such an interface does not create obstacles to the provision of third-party providers’ services.

As previously noted by EBA (opinion published on 4 June 2020), there are still certain market practices that create obstacles to account access. For example, redirection from a third-party provider’s services to a bank’s services may, in certain circumstances, be considered an obstacle to account access within the meaning of PSD2. If the implementation of redirection creates unnecessary friction in the customer experience for the third-party provider’s services or if the authentication procedure with the ASPSP is more cumbersome compared to the equivalent experience the payment service user has when directly accessing their payment accounts or initiating a payment with the ASPSP, redirection may be considered an obstacle.

EBA is now proposing the following supervisory measures for the removal of obstacles:

  1. NCAs should assess the progress of the removal of obstacles carried out by ASPSPs in their respective jurisdictions
  2. In cases where obstacles have not been removed based on the assessment made by NCA, NCAs should take supervisory actions by 30 April 2021 and set a deadline to ASPSPs for the removal of said obstacles.
  3. In cases where obstacles continue to exist following the set deadline, NCAs should take more effective supervisory measures to ensure compliance with payment services regulations, e.g. by revoking exemptions from the contingency mechanism already granted to ASPSPs and/or by imposing fines.

Future Considerations

EBA’s opinion entails more national supervisory actions from NCAs and concrete measures from banks to remove obstacles to account access. As an outcome, the supervisory measures may facilitate further evolution of the market practice in the payment services market.

Hannes Snellman Assists with Questions Related to payment services and PSD2

Hannes Snellman’s Financial Services Regulation Teams are happy to discuss any questions or issues related to payment services and PSD2.