Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2)

The Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) is a regulatory framework established by the European Union (EU) to govern payment services within the European Economic Area (EEA). Introduced in 2015, PSD2 builds upon the original Payment Service Directive (PSD) and aims to promote innovation, enhance security, and foster competition in the European payment industry.

Objectives and Key Provisions

The primary objectives of PSD2 are to increase consumer protection, encourage competition among payment service providers (PSPs), and promote the development of new payment solutions. To achieve these goals, PSD2 introduces several key provisions:

1. Access to Account (XS2A): PSD2 mandates that banks and other account-holding institutions must provide licensed third-party providers (TPPs) with access to their customers’ account information and payment initiation services. This enables customers to authorize TPPs to access their accounts, initiate payments, and retrieve transaction data on their behalf.

2. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA): PSD2 introduces stricter security requirements for electronic payments. SCA requires PSPs to use at least two independent authentication factors, such as something the customer knows (e.g., a password), something the customer possesses (e.g., a mobile device), or something the customer is (e.g., biometric data).

3. Open Banking: PSD2 promotes the concept of open banking, which allows customers to share their financial data securely with authorized third-party providers. This facilitates the development of innovative services and products that can leverage customers’ financial information to provide personalized experiences, such as account aggregation, budgeting tools, or comparison platforms.

Impacts and Benefits

PSD2 has far-reaching impacts on the financial services industry, consumers, and businesses:

1. Enhanced Competition: PSD2 encourages competition by leveling the playing field for new entrants, such as fintech startups, by granting them access to customers’ account information and payment initiation services. This fosters innovation and enables the development of new payment solutions, ultimately benefiting consumers with more choices and improved services.

2. Improved Security: By implementing SCA, PSD2 enhances the security of electronic payments, reducing the risk of fraud and unauthorized transactions. The use of multiple authentication factors significantly strengthens customer protection and instills trust in the payment ecosystem.

3. Customer Empowerment: PSD2 empowers customers by granting them greater control over their financial data. With the ability to share their information securely with authorized TPPs, customers can access personalized financial services, gain insights into their spending habits, and make more informed financial decisions.

4. Regulatory Compliance: PSD2 imposes regulatory obligations on PSPs, ensuring they adhere to strict standards for data protection, security, and customer rights. Compliance with these regulations fosters trust and transparency in the financial services sector.


The Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) is a significant regulatory framework that revolutionizes the European payment industry. By promoting open banking, enhancing security, and fostering competition, PSD2 aims to create a more efficient, innovative, and consumer-centric financial ecosystem. Its provisions, such as Access to Account and Strong Customer Authentication, empower customers, encourage the development of new payment solutions, and ensure compliance with stringent regulatory standards. PSD2 sets the stage for a future where financial services are more accessible, secure, and tailored to individual needs, ultimately benefiting businesses, consumers, and the overall economy.