By Paul de Blok, Senior Consultant
With the planned implementation of PSD2, a number of practical problems have arisen which can all be traced back to one core issue: there’s a lack of clear standardization rules. The European Banking Authority (EBA) has come up with the basics, but the parties responsible for implementing standardization rules are left with a great amount of freedom to fill in the gaps. And it isn’t working.
A mandate lacking specifics
The existing mandate given to EBA puts a great focus on security. This makes sense, as it will be a core concern to customers, trusted third parties (TTP) and banks alike. The flipside of this security-centric approach is that the actual content of the payment initiation (PIS) and account information (AIS) lacks definition. The provisionary guidelines which EBA has published so far state that parties should adhere to ISO20022 standards where possible. This is, of course, way too broad a statement. What should a customer be able to do exactly? For example, will they be given the opportunity to initiate separate transactions or batches? What options are they given when initiating a cross-border transaction where IBANs and BICs aren’t necessarily the standard? As a result of this lack of specifics, the so-called ‘account-servicing payment service providers’ (AS-PSP, or ‘banks’) will have to come up with their own standards, and trusted third parties could end up in a situation where they have to develop specific services for each AS-PSP they want to connect to. If this seems like a less-than-ideal situation to you, you’re absolutely right – it is.
No more waiting for standards
This issue requires a solution – rather today than tomorrow. Basically, there are two options:
What do you think?
It all comes down to this: people working in the payments domain need to address this problem properly. Banks are in dire need of an unambiguous standard, and we should join forces in order to communicate a clear-cut message: ‘European Union, we need more specific standards. Ones that we can work with in practice!’