Pérez-Llorca invited leading experts in the sector to contribute to the session. Julio Lujambio, Corporate Partner at Pérez-Llorca, introduced the session and speakers Emilio Meyer-Pellegrini, Head of Legal, Southern Europe at PayPal; Arturo González Mac Dowell, President and CEO of the fintech Eurobits; Gonzalo Gómez Lardies, Head of Digital Business Strategy – Financial Services at Informática El Corte Inglés; Ángel Nigorra, Director of Bizum; Jaime Grau Ullastres, Global Director of Financial Services of the Telefónica Group; Alejandro Banegas, Head of Business Development at Mastercard Spain; and Rafael Campos Pérez, Director of Treasury of the Cortefiel Group. Paula De Biase, Head of the Financial Services practice at Pérez-Llorca, moderated the debate.
This session comes amid the implementation in Spain of the new payment services directive (known as PSD2), one of the milestones of which was the publication in December of the Preliminary Draft of the new Payment Services Market Act. Although it is not yet a definitive position, the Preliminary Draft shed more light on Spain’s choices in relation to the various aspects of the Directive which they are free to decide themselves, and provides greater insight into its possible impact.
The new regulation will lead to significant changes in various areas, such as the regulation of initiation of payments and account information services, which are already being provided by various operators but have not been subject to regulation or financial supervision until now. One of the most noteworthy aspects are the rules relating to accessing payment accounts and user information which are necessary for the provision of these services, and which have provoked an extensive debate at a European level due to the various potential implications in terms of technology, security and the protection of users’ data.
Other areas of interest addressed by the speakers were the new enhanced identification (or authentication) requirements, as well as some of the new payment solutions such as instant transfers and the changes to existing solutions such as payment methods provided by mobile operators. In this regard, some of the speakers expressed their desire to continually improve the experience for the end customer, both from the point of view of payment service providers and businesses, and offer the largest number of payment methods possible in order to decrease the number of transactions that are abandoned, especially online.
The experts also discussed the various processes for adapting to the new regulations, which affect the business, structure and internal procedures of entities. The speakers focused on the impact that these are going to have on the terms and conditions of the products and services offered, as well as on the interaction of such processes with the implementation and entry into force in Spain of other regulations in 2018, such as the new regulation on data protection and the prevention of money laundering.
The session concluded with an enriching debate between the speakers and some of the attendees, who exchanged views on the future of payment methods. The importance of mobile phones was emphasised, and it is anticipated that competition between debiting/making direct transfers from current accounts and using cards will increase in light of the new infrastructures that enable instant transfers in 10 seconds.
The final debate also focused on how the new access rules and opportunities under the PSD2 open the door to developing new products based on the initiation of payments. It remains to be seen whether operators and/or businesses will develop their own payment solutions or if they will opt for third-party payment solutions. The cost that this entails for businesses also plays a very important role in this equation.