The Council adopted a directive establishing a legal framework for payment services, aimed at facilitating and reducing the cost of payments throughout the European Union (3613/07). The directive is adopted in first reading, under the codecision procedure involving both the European Parliament and the Council. The directive, amending directives 97/7/EC, 2000/12/EC and 2002/65/EC, provides for:
– enhanced competition by opening markets to all appropriate payment service providers.
– harmonised market access requirements for non-bank payment service providers, "payment institutions", ensuring a level playing field and at the same time encouraging innovation.
– introduction of a clear and simple set of harmonised information requirements for both providers and users, increasing market transparency.
As noted earlier (here) the Commission believes that the new Directive could save the EU economy upwards of €28 billion per year. Let’s hope it will… .