Payments On Fire

Glenbrook

Episode 90 – PSD2 Enables Fintech Competitors – Myles Stephenson, Modulr

The UK and the EU take a very different approach to payments industry evolution than here in the States; the former directed by government mandate, the latter by marketplace dynamics and the lighter touch of regulators. But both are responding, at different speeds, to the need of fintechs and enterprises for access to bank-based data and services.

The Payment Services Directive 2, PSD2, written in 2015 and in effect since January of 2018, addresses a range of concerns including a ban on surcharging on card payments and limiting consumer fraud liability exposure from 150 to 50 euros. But its major impact is its enablement of Open Banking through the granting of access to payment rails and payment data managed, up until PSD2, only by banks. Banks are required to open up programmatic access, via APIs, to that data.

In this Payments on Fire® episode, we dive into the UK and EU experience with the PSD2 a year after it going into effect. We take a look at its impact on Open Banking, the opening up of payment rails to these fintechs and other non-bank players.

To do that, Myles Stephenson, CEO of B2B payments firm Modulr, discusses his firm’s experience as an Electronic Money Institution, an organization chartered by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under PSD2 rules. Under its provisions, Modulr gains, or will gain, the ability to initiate payments on behalf of its customers as well as access customer data.

While incumbent financial institutions are hardly thrilled at the prospect of opening up their systems to fintech competitors and the cost of doing so, the operational improvements for customers and increase in competitive activity are expected to generate many benefits.