The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

Shaping the future of payments in Europe

The second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is entered into force in Belgium on 12 January 2018, two years after the publication of the Directive at European level. With this new Directive, the EU aims to increase competition and innovation in the payments ecosystem, extend the scope of market participants and reinforce the Digital Single Market. 

The impact of PSD2 is significant for new and existing market players, and there’s little time left to launch change initiatives and to comply with regulatory requirements, especially with the wide scope of the Directive. 


Who is impacted

Photo of building with letters Bank on it


Existing Payment Services Providers (PSPs)

Such as Banks, Electronic Money Institutions, or Payment Institutions, as well as new entrants to the Belgian market.

Person holidng EU Passport


Existing PSPs from other markets 

Example: PSPs are relocating to Belgium due to Brexit or for other reasons

Group of people digital services


Technology companies

Fintechs, Regtechs and other technology companies willing to provide payment services. 

With the introduction of the second Payment Services Directive in January 2018, we’re bringing together our combined knowledge and experience of the payment services industry across lines of service to support clients in their transformation journey, such as with the technical, operational and legal challenges they face.


Positive scope

  • Extension of the PSD’s scope to payment transactions in any currency within the EU and where only one of the PSPs is located in the EU (“one leg transactions”)
  • three new payments services: Payment Initiation, Account Information, Funds checking

Negative scope

Restructuring of existing exemptions for:

  • Commercial agents
  • Networks with limited marketability (“limited network”)
  • Telco operators
  • Independent cash machines (ATM)

Fees and surcharges

  • Extension of the shared pricing principle whereby payer and payee each support the fees charged by their PSP to all transactions started in non-EU currencies and operations in EU currencies that involve conversion
  • Alignment with the MIF Regulation banning the application of additional fees, both for domestic and cross-border payments

Third Party Payments Service Providers (TPPs)

  • Introduction of new market players called Third Party Payment Service Providers (TPP) 
  • PSD2 reflects the growing number of online banking service providers and account aggregators that enable customers to access different online bank accounts


  • Decrease of the value threshold paid by the customer in case of an unauthorised transaction
  • Shared liability between the Account Servicing Payment Provider (ASPSP) of the payer and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP)
  • Extension rules on TPP responsibilities


  • Strong Customer Authentication based on min. 2 factors becomes mandatory
  • Harmonization of authentication procedures
  • Communication standards: technical standards are being defined to allow a safe communication and to manage the exposure among PSPs (ASPSP, PISP and AISP)

How can we help

  • Readiness assessment: gather information to assess the organization’s current PSD2 compliance maturity, to understand the critical legacy risks and identify opportunities
  • Remediation gaps: identify the existing capabilities and map with the work to be done to bring the organisation into PSD2 compliance
  • Oversight: organise the project governance structure to facilitate the coordination and implementation efforts (implementation plan)
  • Implementation: assist with the remediation of gaps, with the assessment of maturity and the set-up of regulatory reporting duties
  • Provide project management and SME support
  • Assist with the preparation of the licensing in Belgium

We not only use our expertise within our PSD2 European Centre of Excellence, but also call on and share experiences with the global network, to clients’ benefit. They can also take advantage of our in-depth Financial Services and regulatory expertise, as well as our market intelligence.

With a multi-disciplinary team - comprised of legal, compliance, technology and governance experts, among others - we’re able to deliver end-to-end solutions from Strategy through Execution. 

Get in touch with one of our specialists

Gregory Joos

Partner, Head of Financial Services, Brussels, PwC Belgium

+32 473 91 03 53


Géraldine D'Argembeau

Partner Risk & Compliance, Brussels, PwC Belgium

+32 476 47 19 59


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