Every Member State has diverse and unclear laws regulating online and card payments. These cause a fragmentation of the payments market with an estimated cost of €130 billion a year (more than 1% of EU GDP).
A new Payment Services Directive was announced by the European Commission in July, updating the original rules on regulating online payments so as to standardize them for all transactions taking place using the Internet as well as make them safer through a surveillance system run by the relevant authorities.
The regulation on 'Interchange Fees', which are paid by banks to each other for each card payment, will also be updated. Regulating these overpriced taxes will benefit retailers and consumers.
EPP Group Members Diogo Feio and Pablo Zalba Bigedain will be responsible for the Parliament’s input on this draft legislation.
Diogo Feio stated: "We aim to create a system where all consumers can feel secure in each operation performed regardless of the choice of means of payment.”
The Portuguese MEP concluded that "Our concern was to simplify, because the rules differ in different countries and each citizen must understand the applicable law which, in many Member States, is unintelligible. Much of the uncertainty in online payment transactions derives from the fact that we need a law that is readable and clear."
On the Interchange Fees, Pablo Zalba Bigedain added that "Regulating the fees charged in transactions between banks will increase transparency and consumer protection.” For the Spanish MEP strengthening the single market and promoting innovation in the card payment system is essential.
Pablo Zalba Bigedain concluded that: “The main goals are to increase transparency and consumer protection, as well as creating a level playing field for card payments in Europe. We need to ensure there are incentives for innovation in the card payments system and the strengthening of the single market.”