“Payments are the “oil in the wheels of the Internal Market”. It is of major importance that those wheels run smoothly and safely. The objective is a Single Payment Area, in which citizens and businesses can make cross-border payments as easily, safely and efficiently as they can within their own countries and subject to identical charges“. – European Commission, www.europa.eu.
The objective set out above is undoubtedly noble and indeed necessary, but just how effective is the EU regulatory framework in achieving it?
Never before have the activities of issuing emoney and carrying out payment services been more heavily regulated. The laws governing these matters currently present challenges, including:
- lack of EU wide harmonisation of the Payment Services Directive and further uncertainty expected with the envisaged implementation of PSD2,
- legacy concerns following the implementation certainty of SEPA,
- the implementation of the revised Emoney Directive,
- confusion on how to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies.