The European Banking Federation has urged the European Commission (EC) not to dismiss an important recommendation by the European Banking Authority (EBA) on future electronic payments in the European Union.

The EBF is of view that if the EC does not fully endorse the EBA standards, the privacy of client data, cybersecurity and innovation are put at risk.

PSD2 will introduce a general security upgrade for third-party access to a client’s data, helping to avoid practices such as screen-scraping.

These services, which are considered as a first-generation direct access technology, enable third parties access bank accounts accounts on a client’s behalf by impersonating while using their access credentials.

The proposal needs banks to select either creating a dedicated interface that allows third parties access bank accounts on behalf of clients or to upgrade their client interface, helping to replace the old practice of screen-scraping.

It will help to continue direct access services in the EU in a secure way, helping clients to decide themselves which data can be accessed by third parties.

According to EBF, the EC is planning to go against the EBA advice and may let screen-scraping continue by requiring banks to accept screen-scraping as an additional mandatory direct access method, forcing banks to maintain at least two interfaces.

Banks are not interested over this development, which is expected to serve as a threat for the development of electronic payment services.

EBF CEO Wim Mijs said: “The development of PSD2 can be compared to designing a new plane. You develop highly secure, innovative and sophisticated systems to make it fly.

“But what happens now, in the final development stages, is that the designers are required to put a heavy diesel generator on board. This plane then becomes too heavy to fly. If banks are forced to accept screen–scraping then PSD2 will never fly the way it was intended.”

Image: Head office of the European Commission. Photo: courtesy of Amio Cajander.