Actualidad Spain

New regulations over the payment services market

Draft bill

The Bill on the payment services market transposes into Spanish law EU Directive 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and Council, November 25th, 2015, on “PSD2” (Payment Service Providers) payment services in the domestic market, replacing the previous payment services law 16/2009, November 13th*.

PSD2, in force since January 13, makes it easier to develop an integrated and efficient retail payment services market in the European Union, one that rewards competition and innovation and provides consumers and corporations with reliable, safe services at the lowest price possible.  

Respecting the spirit of the EU regulation, the Spanish law concentrates primarily on three areas:

Service provision

Pursuant to the regulation, payment services are those business activities that enable cash to be deposited and withdrawn from a payment account, together with all the transactions necessary to manage them, fund transfers, execution of payment transactions when the funds are covered by a line of credit, and money remittances. The law has extended its scope of application to include, along with payment services, payment initiation and account information services:

  • Payment initiation services: The user will be able to ask the payment service to initiate a payment order from a payment account opened with another payment services provider. That is, it allows the service provider initiating the payment to give the beneficiary of the payment order the certainty that the payment has been initiated.
  • Account information services: the payment service user can have an overall and immediate view of their financial situation, given that they are provided with aggregated online information on one or more payment accounts held with one or more payment service providers.

Transparency for the user

The draft regulates the transparency of conditions and information requirements for payment services, while upholding the principle of contractual freedom. The payment services provider must make available to the user all the information and conditions relating to the payment service provision, in a format that is easily accessible.

Rights and obligations of the parties to the contract

The regulation increases user protection and payment security, reducing the amount of fraud and abuse of consumers. To better protect consumers, the payment services market Bill does the following:

  • Reduces the response time for resolving user claims against payment services, down from two months as per the previous regulation, to fifteen working days.
  • The application of the law includes international transactions when at least one of the end points, whether the user or the merchant, is in a European country.
  • Increases the levels of scrutiny and supervision over payment services providers: in the case of unauthorized payments the user’s liability will be limited to €50, unless there has been negligence on their part.
  • Reduces the payer’s maximum liability threshold for losses resulting from unauthorized payment transactions deriving from the use of a lost or stolen payment instrument, bringing this down from €150 to €50.
  • Strengthens the procedure for identifying customers (additional security check) for online access to accounts by account aggregators and payment initiators.
  • Submits to Spanish and EU law on issues concerning data protection, data processing and data transfer relating to activities regulated by this law. For these effects, explicit consent from the payment service user is required to obtain, process and store their personal data necessary to provide the payment service, except in those cases where these are needed to ensure the prevention, investigation and discovery of fraudulent payments.
  • Lays out a description of penalties that can be handed out to payment entities**.


* Law passed to transpose EC Directive 2007/64 (PSD1) replaced by the new EU Directive 2015/2366 (PSD2)

** Art. 10: those persons who have been authorized to provide and execute the payment services provided for in the regulation