FCA consultation paper on Changes to the SCA-RTS and to the guidance in ‘Payment Services and Electronic Money – Our Approach’ and the Perimeter Guidance Manual

On 28 January, the FCA published a consultation paper which proposed amendments to the SCA‑RTS, as well as updates and additions to its published guidance in the Regulatory Technical Standards, Perimeter Guidance Manual and the Approach Document.

The FCA notes that it is proposing changes to the SCA‑RTS to support competition and innovation in the payments and e‑money sector, more specifically:

(i) adding a new exemption from SCA for when customers access their account information though an account information service provider (AISPs);

(ii) mandating the use of dedicated interfaces (such as application programming interfaces (APIs)) by account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs) to facilitate third‑party provider (TPP) access to retail and SME customers’ payment accounts;

(iii) changing requirements for publishing interface technical specifications, availability of testing facilities, and fallback mechanisms by account providers;

(iv) treating ASPSPs with deemed authorisation under temporary permissions regime (whether under the Exit SI or EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018) as exempt from the requirement to set up a fallback interface, where the ASPSP has an exemption from its home state competent authority; and

(v) increasing the single and cumulative transaction thresholds for contactless payments from £45 up to £100 (or potentially a maximum of £120) and from £130 to £200 respectively. Regarding amendments to the Approach Document, the FCA states that it is proposing changes, among other things, to: (a) reflect the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the end of the transition period; and (b) amend its safeguarding and prudential risk management guidance – this includes proposing to make permanent the temporary guidance issued in July in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consultation was open until 24 February 2021 for questions relating to contactless payments (Q5 & Q6) and closes on 30 April 2021 for all other aspects of the consultation.