Minister Donohoe signs EU Regulations into law to further protect consumer payments

12th January, 2018


The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. has today (Friday) signed regulations – the European Union (Payment Services) Regulations 2018 – to give effect to the revised Payment Services Directive or “PSD2” (Directive (EU) 2015/2366[1]).

Minister Donohoe stated: ‘Consumers want to know that their payments are safe when they shop or make a payment, be that in store or online. PSD2 will ensure that consumers have stronger rights and greater choice when using payment services’.

“The overall objective of PSD2 is to further harmonise the rules for an EU single market for payments, aiming to create a more integrated and efficient European payments market. The main changes introduced by PSD2 are the addition of two new categories of payment services providers to be regulated, greater protection for consumers, and the introduction of new rules on strong customer authentication and secure communication which are intended to make payments safer.

The vast majority of the provisions of PSD2 come into operation on 13th January 2018. A small number of provisions will come into operation 18 months from the date the regulatory technical standards on strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication enter into force.


Notes for Editors:

PSD2 builds on the framework first established by the original Payment Services Directive[2] in 2007, introducing changes to address the rapid growth in the number of electronic and mobile payments and the emergence of new types of payment services in the market place.

The main changes introduced by the new rules include the:

  • Introduction of strict security requirements for the initiation and processing of electronic payments and the protection of consumers’ financial data;
  • Opening the EU payment market for companies offering consumer or business-oriented payment services based on access, with consent of the account holder, to payment accounts – the so called “payment initiation services providers” and “account information services providers”;
  • Enhancement of consumers’ rights, including a reduction in the liability for non-authorised payments to €50 (previously €75) and insertion into legislation of an unconditional refund right for direct debits in euro for consumers;
  • Prohibition of merchant surcharging on consumer-held credit or debit cards covered by the Interchange Fee Regulation (the vast majority of consumer credit and debit cards), whether the payment instrument is used in shops or online; and
  • Expansion of the scope now that PSD2 extends to payment transactions in non-European Economic Area currencies and to ‘one-leg’ transactions (payment transactions where only one of the payment service providers is located within the European Economic Area), and a narrowing of the payment transactions and services which are excluded.