New European Union rules from January 13 aim to prise open banking to more competition by allowing outside firms to make payments and offer other financial services by directly accessing a customer’s account.

The Payments Services Directive 2, or PSD2, is a major reworking of the bloc’s payments rules to reflect rapid advances in technology like smart phones for accessing financial services.

The main elements are:

• With a customer’s permission, a bank must allow an outside company authorized by regulators to take a payment
directly from an account for goods and services.
• A bank must allow an outside firm to access transactions history from a customer’s account for the purposes of
aggregating information from several current and savings accounts into a single “dashboard”.
• Tougher customer authentication of online payments will be introduced

– By by Huw Jones, Reuters.11 January 2018.