EU Payment Directive Aimed at MSBs May Result in More Competition for Banks

By Brian Monroe

A measure that standardizes rules for electronic payment services across the European Union will boost competition among money services businesses, banks, and other financial institutions, MSB professionals say. The payment services directive proposal, adopted by the European Parliament on April 24, requires licensing for all businesses engaging in payment services, adds anti-money laundering program requirements and establishes a new class of service provider, payment institution, which only processes payments. The measure, which would take effect by November 2009 following formal adoption by a council of ministers from EU member states, will cut the costs of cross-border payments and improve the...