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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Payment services in the EU

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Payment services in the EU


Directive 2007/64/EC on payment services in the EU’s internal market



  • It lays down rules for payment services* such as credit transfers, direct debits and card payments.
  • These rules include information requirements for payment services providers, as well as rights and obligations linked to the use of payment services.



An institution that offers payment services must obtain an authorisation to carry out its payment activities throughout the EU. Each EU country has a national body responsible for granting authorisations. The institution is authorised only if it has robust governance arrangements in place for its business and holds a certain amount of capital.

Information requirements

Payment services providers must provide a range of clear information to the users of their services.

Prior to a payment service, they have to communicate information related to

  • fees,
  • complaint procedures and
  • all charges payable in an easily understandable way.

After the execution of a payment transaction, they have to provide information to the payer, including:

  • the reference of the payment transaction and of the payee;
  • the payment amount;
  • the fees and commissions related to the transaction.

They have to communicate information to the payee once the transaction has taken place.

The law also lays down specific rules about the information that payment services providers have to give when transactions are covered by a contract governing the future execution of successive payment transactions.

Rights and obligations

A payment transaction in euros or in the currency of an EU country outside the euro area is executed within 1 working day.

Payment services providers are fully liable to payers for the correct execution of payment transactions. When a transaction is not executed or is defective, the payer’s payment services provider must correct it or refund the relevant amount to the payer. In the event of the misuse of a payment instrument by someone other than the payer, such as a credit card, the payer bears the losses up to a maximum amount of €150.

The law also lays down rules for refunds when payment transactions have been wrongly authorised by a payment services provider.


Directive (EU) 2015/2366 repeals Directive 2007/64/EC with effect from 13 January 2018.


It applies from 25 December 2007. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 November 2009.


Consumers need to be sure that the payments they make throughout the EU are easy, efficient and secure. To meet this objective, the EU has set up a common framework for payment services, which replaces EU countries’ national rules.


* Payment services: business activities that:

  • allow people to deposit or withdraw cash on or from a payment account, as well as the operation of that account;
  • execute payment transactions (e.g. standing orders, direct debits, etc.) both on payment accounts or by electronic means;
  • issue and/or receive payment instructions;
  • execute money remittance (transfers of money by foreign workers to persons in their home country).


Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on payment services in the internal market amending Directives 97/7/EC, 2002/65/EC, 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 97/5/EC (OJ L 319, 5.12.2007, pp. 1-36)

Subsequent amendments to Directive 2007/64/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, pp. 214-246)

Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market, amending Directives 2002/65/EC, 2009/110/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, and repealing Directive 2007/64/EC (OJ L 337, 23.12.2015, pp. 35-127)

last update 24.05.2016