License requirement for e-commerce platforms providing payment services
A recent investigation by Dutch Central Bank shows there may be e-commerce platforms providing payment services without the required license as a payment service provider. These e-commerce platforms will have to apply for a license or outsource their regulated activities to a licensed third party, or alternatively they have to cease those activities.
Since the implementation of PSD2 on 19 February 2019, e-commerce platforms require a license to provide payment services (dutch only). These E-commerce platforms are websites or apps for bringing together supply and demand of goods and services (from third parties). Previously, such e-commerce platforms could benefit from an exemption from the license obligation if the payment services provided were a secondary activity of the platform. With the implementation of PSD2, this exemption no longer applies. Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) has published a Q&A on this topic in October 2017, in which it further specifies the license obligation of e-commerce platforms after the implementation of PSD2.
In its press release (in Dutch), DNB stresses that the license obligation only applies when the e-commerce platform itself provides payment services. This is, for example, the case if payments are transmitted from a buyer to a seller through the payment account of the platform (or an affiliated foundation).
DNB stresses that it may impose administrative penalties and sanctions on e-commerce platforms providing payment services without the required license. Furthermore, this is punishable as a criminal offence. When deciding on imposing any enforcement measures, DNB indicates that it will in any event take into account the manner in which and the period within which these parties have ended the infringements.
Wendy PronkSenior Associate Attorney at law
Wendy Pronk, attorney at law, is a member of the Banking & Finance practice group in our Amsterdam office. She focuses on advice and legal proceedings in financial regulatory matters.T: +31 20 578 53 15 M: +31 6 10 61 79 95 E: firstname.lastname@example.org