On The Comparability Of Fees Related To Payment Accounts, Payment Account Switching And Access To Payment Accounts With Basic Features

Categories : Digital Money and payments, Technology and Operational Enablers


Author: Cleo Turner

Based on these findings and following an analysis of the available options, this European Commission report concluded that the recommended set of policy measures should consist of the introduction of a standard list of fees charged for services offered on payment accounts; measures aimed at ensuring the independence of websites comparing fees for services offered on payment accounts at Member state level and mandating the creation of such websites where they do not already exist; and requiring payment service providers to provide ex-post information at least annually on the fees incurred by consumers on their payment accounts.

The impact assessment also demonstrated that payment account mobility in the EU is still limited. This is partly caused by insufficient and often inconsistent information on the switching process, and a lack of assistance by the staff of payment service providers. Switching is frequently perceived by customers to be costly or time-consuming; it is also often unclear how long the process will take and what would happen to direct debits/credits in the ‘transitional period’ (i.e. the period when the new account is opened but not all recurring payments have been transferred to it). Finally, the deadlines set in the Common Principles are often not respected.

The impact assessment also highlighted that there is no common framework in place to facilitate cross-border switching or comparability of payment account fees. Although there is significant potential demand, consumers may be deterred by the complexity of the process in practice. In a fully functioning internal market, comparable information on payment account prices across the EU would broaden consumer choice and facilitate domestic and cross-border switching.