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Green light on PSD2 exemption of charge to mobile for content, charity, tickets and voice services 0

It looks like digital content, charity donations, ticketing and voice services purchased through carrier billing are all going to be exempted from the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) following what is hopefully the third and final trilogue negotiations of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, according to our sources in Brussels.

The decision has not been formally announced – and even if it were, it still has to be passed by the EU Parliament and the Council – but it seems that these key telemedia and charge to mobile services are going to be exempted from the need to be financially regulated as payment services, so long as they don’t exceed certain thresholds.

A €50 per ‘call’ limit is likely to be imposed, along with a €300 per month cap for consumers using these services. The €50 transaction limit is likely to be expected by networks to be implemented by the provider of the voice service or the aggregator/API for text and Charge to Mobile services. Telecom providers will have to determine how they impose a monthly limit on their consumers for the exempted products. Our understanding is that this is a technically complex area.

There is still a push elsewhere for voice services and, in particular, directory enquiry services to be taken totally out of scope on the basis that a high spending consumer may be unable to make a DQ call towards the end of their billing month. This will contradict another EU regulation for Telecoms on uninterrupted service delivery. Also the €50 limit goes against the increase that Ofcom is permitting on 090 voice calls from 1 July 2015 to £45 cap.

We put the rumours to Rory Maguire, MD of AIME, who comments: “AIME was concerned originally that the PSD revisions that brought in reference to “Digital Content” would inadvertently be interpreted to exclude voice services from the exemption and therefore be treated as a payment service. The current exemption allows for premium voice to a maximum of €50 per call.”

The monthly limit has caused concerns elsewhere as essential services may be compromised by a high spender’s earlier use of non-essential content and services.

“AIME will be discussing with Treasury – once PSD is ratified by EU Parliament – that this monthly cap requirement would impose significant cost on Telecom Operators if a “hard stop” had to be imposed and would only apply to a small number of consumers,” says Maguire. “Our proposal is that this can be achieved as a reporting function where the FCA agree the proportion of consumers that can exceed the limits (tolerance level) on a monthly basis until the Telecom Operator has to introduce either a technical solution or become financially regulated.”

Coming into force in 2017, the PSD2 regulates the use of Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP), which will have to be regulated Payment Service Providers (PSPs), by consumers to initiate payments or perform balance inquiries on their behalf. The institution holding the payment account of the consumer must be in a position to facilitate such requests.

More in this story in the next issue of Telemedia Magazine and here on Telemedia-news
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