BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation

BEUC agrees with the EBA’s reasoning regarding the requirements on strong customer authentication, while we have some questions related to authentication code and dynamic linking (see below).
Article 1 indicates that the authentication procedure shall result in an authentication code. It has to be clarified which kind of code this article refers to. It cannot be the PIN code used by the consumer for any card payment using EMV standards. Paragraphs 24 and 25 on page 11 say that no action will be required by the payer himself. It seems that the words “authentication code” are used with different meanings all over the document.
As regards article 7 it is indicated that the strong customer authentication shall be periodically tested, evaluated and audited and that a report will be elaborated indicating the level of compliance with the Regulation. That report shall be made fully available to the competent authority upon request.
First, the tests should be carried out by a designated independent third party and the frequency of the tests should be specified by EBA. Second, the reports should be automatically provided to the competent authority. Third, how will the consumer know that the competent authorities have checked that various payment service providers conform to the law? One solution should be that the conformity reports are made available to the public on the competent authority’s internet site. If the report contains information which cannot be communicated for security reasons, at the very least the minimum should be that the competent authority and/or EBA indicates that the Payment Service Provider has provided its conformity report and that the authority agrees that it conforms with the Regulation. This is a basic transparency principle.
Article 2 of the draft RTS aims to implement Article 97.2 for PDS2, which concerns remote payment transactions. It is unclear from the article what is the meaning of “independent or segregated” as regards channel, mobile application or device. In terms of convenience, e.g. during holidays, the consumer should not be obliged to have several devices with him to be able to initiate a remote transaction. Therefore, it should be clarified how article 2b will apply in connection with the provisions on multipurpose devices in article 6. Does article 6 covers also article 2b?
As regards article 2.3, why should there be a specific rule for card transactions? The fact that a transaction is blocked for which the amount is not known in advance could also apply to other payments instruments even if it is not common practice today. Therefore, we disagree with the idea that this rule is specific to cards despite the explanation given by point 27 page 11 of the document.
From the consumer perspective, it is very important that the same derogations apply in the same situations. As explained by paragraph 53 of the document, the consistent application of Strong Customer authentication (SCA) has for effect that the exemptions are applied in exactly the same way. This paragraph justifies these common rules by competition dimension. It could be added that it is also important for a consistent consumer experience. Creating different rules for identical situations would make no sense to consumers.
Article 74.2 of PSD2 states: Where the payer’s payment service provider does not require strong customer authentication, the payer shall not bear any financial losses unless the payer has acted fraudulently. Where the payee or the payment service provider of the payee fails to accept strong customer authentication, it shall refund the financial damage caused to the payer’s payment service provider.
The RTS do not indicate if this article applies even if the Strong Customer Authentication is not applied in conformity with the exemptions. In point 19 it is indicated that this article should not apply after the publication of the RTS. BEUC disagrees with this interpretation which is contrary to PSD2. BEUC considers that the EBA goes beyond its mandate and misinterprets the PSD2 provision. It must be made clear that Art 74.2 will always apply in cases where the Strong Customer Authentication is not used.
In its previous answer BEUC has insisted on the fact that the consumer could, in some circumstances, share his non reusable one-time dynamic transaction code but never share his reusable personal credential. Therefore BEUC supports the position expressed by our German member VZBV regarding the risk of fraud.
BEUC agrees with the various exemptions, in particular with the idea developed in paragraph 52 on the need to maintain the high level of security provided by the Chip and PIN technology.
Article 10 on the protection of confidentiality creates a specific obligation when the transaction is initiated by, or through, the payee. This is logical. But the restriction to card-based payment transactions is incoherent. First, there is no logic in having a specific right regarding cards. Second direct debits are also transactions initiated by, or through, the payee. In several countries some kinds of transactions initiated face-to-face or at a distance are classified technically as a direct debit if a card is used. These transactions are not considered as card-based by EU legislation. Why should the article not cover this situation? Therefore, the sentence “in the context of a card based transaction” should be deleted.
In addition, EBA should clarify that any electronic mandate setting up series of direct debits should also be covered by Strong Customer Authentication.
For BEUC the issue is about full interoperability. A consumer using any Payment Service Provider should be able to connect to his bank account. The technicalities of a network involving only PSPs are not a consumer issue.
BEUC has a concern regarding accessing the market of various non-Account Servicing Payment Services Providers (ASPSP). In recitals 10 to 13 the ASPSP can have their own dedicated communication interface and the use of this interface is described as mandatory. Article 19 provides a long list of information on the dedicated interface allowing the user to access it. The situation will be that any PSP will have to know the specificities of all ASPSPs, which is technically impossible due to the huge number of ASPSPs. This obligation can be assimilated to a contract. This is confirmed by paragraph 19a on page 9 which states: “this would however require a prior contractual agreement between the PIS and the ASPSP”. This statement is in contradiction with article 66.5 of PSD2 which states “The provision of payment initiation services shall not be dependent on the existence of a contractual relationship between the payment initiation services providers and the account servicing payment services providers for that purpose”. This provision on a dedicated interface would be a major obstacle to interoperability.
There is also a broader issue related to a common Application Programming Interface (API) as currently discussed in several countries and in particular the UK. EBA must make sure that the limited network as described by this Regulation will be compatible with a much broader network accessible to consumers.
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BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation