New payment protections as from January 2018

As from January 2018, consumers across Spain will be more protected against fraud, theft and deception as banks become forced to take more responsibility. And shopping online will never be the same again….

The measures are thanks to EU directive 2015/2366, also known as Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which has an implementation deadline of January 18, 2018. See the EU commission page on the directive here.

What’s PSD2 for?

This cheeky chappie will see his work more difficult as from 2018…

The EU commission says that PSD2 has three main objectives:

  • To create a single EU wide electronic market
  • To prevent legal loopholes or lacunae caused by the rapid development of electronic finance
  • To create secure and trustworthy electronic payment methods for consumers

We can’t go into all of the details of PSD2 here, but we spoke to Banco Popular who outlined the biggest changes the average bank customer will see as from next year.

What new protection will my bank offer me?

You will only be liable for the first €50 stolen in the case of unauthorised use of your bank cards or your online banking account. This applies to all funds stolen between the time of the first unauthorised use and when you tell your bank.

Spanish banks are now required to be more proactive in detecting unusual spending patterns on your bank cards or online payment methods. This means that banks are required to scan your spending habits and proactively stop any suspicious payments from going ahead, until they can independently contact the customer and gain their authorisation.

Payment orders issued by you will be executed no later than the end of the next business day after you issue the order.

Banks are required to reply to customer complaints within 15 working days.

How does shopping online change?

A new type of service provider called the Third Party Payment Service Providers (TTP) is being created under law, which in turn offer account information (SIC) or payment methods (SIP). Consumers will be required by law to have access to all conditions before entering into any commercial transaction with these entities.

SIP’s are authorised intermediaries between customers and suppliers – an example would be PayPal, Sofort or Trustly. They act as a bridge between consumer, bank and supplier. They will reduce the cost the consumer by establishing a new way of making payments online without needing the permission of their bank, and businesses selling online will no longer need to implement payment gateways. The SIP will act as a trusted intermediary between your bank account, and the person selling you the goods online.

Another new type of service provider is called the account information service provider, or SIC. These companies will have access to generalised financial information provided by banks in order to reassure businesses that their customers are solvent and able to make payments. Examples of SIC’s include Fintonic, Eurobits, Yodlee or Mint.

When one of these SIP providers initiates a payment request to your bank, your bank will automatically pay that request assuming that you have authorised the transaction.

Banco Popular said that it will be applying new terms and conditions to all customers on January 18, 2018 – other banks will be doing the same at roughly the same date. Check with your local branch for more information.


Maria Luisa

María Luisa Cervantes is a chartered accountant who graduated from the University of Granada in 2002. Founder of Cervantes Alarcón Consulting, she is an experienced accountant and financial advisor who is a member of the Almería guild of economists. With more than 15 years of experience in business administration and international trade, she is also a subject matter expert in the UK - Spanish bilateral agreements which cover the rights of expats to live, work and retire in Spain.