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Can the New PSD Regulation Bring an Alternative to Cash Pooling?

by Thomas Rijneveld and Emiel Kuiken, PwC

Since the adaptation of the Payment Service Directive (PSD) in 2007, significant progress and integration of payments in the EU has been achieved. The current PSD is aimed at improving competition by opening up payment markets and providing a legal platform for SEPA (the Single Euro Payments Area which is intended to harmonise payment processing across Europe).

The rapid pace of technological innovation can be considered as one of the main drivers for a revised PSD (PSD II). To regulate new services that have emerged in the area of internet payments, and strengthen competition between banks and third parties, the revised PSD introduces the concept of ‘access to the account’. This concept allows third parties to provide the following services:

1. Account Information Service (AIS), requiring a bank to share account information (i.e., account balance and account details) with third parties upon request of the account holder; and

2. Payment Initiation Services (PIS), allowing a third party to send payment instructions to the bank in the name of the account holder. The bank should treat this payment equal to the payment instructions send directly by the client.