The Second Payments Services Directive: 

A Catalyst for Innovation



The Second Payments Services Directive sets a framework for redefining the European payments ecosystem—driving the evolution towards an enhanced customer-centric experience by catalyzing innovation across payments services and client distribution channels.


How is SWIFT gpi changing the environment for cross-border payments?


To achieve the maximum benefits of this transformation, investment in technology across a bank’s Merchant Services and Treasury Services capabilities is essential.


Evolving payment models for consumers and businesses


The Second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) enables consumers to make payments directly to merchants using new payment methods enabled by third-party providers. Parallel to these new payment models being facilitated by PSD2, is the advancement of real-time or “instant” payments, which provide a 24/7 settlement infrastructure for near-immediate settlement of proceeds. These new models facilitate payments in full and quicker settlement of proceeds without batch-processing or time delays. Removing friction points from payments will accelerate the consumer purchase cycle integral to the growing on-demand economy. 




"PSD2 will spark payments innovation, give customers more control, and allow merchants and banks to turn it into their competitive advantage. PSD2 will also open the market to new payment entrants and extend the scope of services, thus increasing competition with the aim of making payments more innovative, efficient, swift and secure for customers." - Brian Gaynor, European Head of Product for Merchant Services at J.P. Morgan





This new, dynamic landscape can become the catalyst for organizations to transform their online sales model, and reduce supply chain risk by attaining assuredness of proceeds credited before goods are dispatched. Increasing the certainty of value and timing of funds processed yields enhanced working capital management opportunities for businesses, as well as the opportunity to improve supplier and customer relationships.


Building blocks of an expanded payments ecosystem


At the heart of PSD2 is connectivity to all European banks through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). PSD2 provides a directive for banks to open up their APIs to enable the integration of third-party providers into payment networks to foster increased competition and innovation. Through APIs, payment initiation from bank accounts of consumers and organizations in the European Economic Area (EEA) is expected to be available to merchants seeking to collect the proceeds of sale through a simple, secured gateway to each bank’s online payments infrastructure.


Beyond ecommerce applications of PSD2, traditional corporate transaction banking will benefit from adopting APIs in a mature marketplace where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Treasury Management Systems (TMS) are the foundation of treasury technology. With growing adoption of cloud-based ERP and TMS software, IT development is shifting to leverage APIs as a building block of greater efficiency and effectiveness. 


From heightened connectivity to new services and broader transformations

The heightened connectivity and flexibility afforded by APIs should enable banks to allow merchants and other corporate clients to access vast troves of data in increasingly faster, simpler and standardized ways. Therefore, not only are APIs the building blocks of a redefined payments ecosystem, but they also help unleash even greater value from the payments experience.

Within the corporate treasury realm, everything from forecasting and risk assessment to liquidity management needs actionable insights. These insights are enabled by technology innovations in data configuration, processing power and communication speed. APIs will play a vital role as a connective glue in this - with change becoming easier and faster as companies gain control of the right data exactly when and where needed.


Banking on innovation

As organizations take advantage of PSD2, it is important to collaborate with a bank that invests in innovation with the vision and practical application in solving real-world challenges. Key to this is working with a banking partner that has the experience, expertise, and scale to deepen and optimize interconnectivity across the needs of merchants and corporate treasuries.