New benchmark on the “electronic communications exclusion” for voice-based services in the PSD2 20 November 18

Cullen International has published a new benchmark looking at guidelines on the threshold calculation method used to exclude electronic communications services providers from being subject to the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in relation to voice-based services.

The PSD2 specifically excludes certain low-value payments from the application of the provisions set out in the Directive. Payments made through telecoms operators involving voice-based services (i.e. charged to the subscriber’s phone bill) are excluded when they are under a certain threshold:

  • €50 per transaction; and
  • a total of €300 per billing month.

Four of the nine EU countries researched have adopted guidelines.

  • Germany and Italy: The German and Italian financial authorities published guidelines stating that telecoms operators can calculate whether customers are excluded from the PSD2 requirements based on the monthly average of the amounts invoiced in the year, i.e. whether that average is below €300.
  • France: The national law transposing the PSD2 Directive stated that, in the case of a business subscription, the ceiling of €300 should be assessed based on the end user (the employee) and not for the subscriber (i.e. the business).
  • UK: for the purpose of the application of the threshold, the financial authority takes into account individual telephone numbers or SIM cards being treated as separate 'subscribers', rather than ‘account holder’. 

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