Payment service providers

Payment services can be provided only by service providers that meet the requirements laid down in the Payment Institutions Act. Payment services include account transfers, card payments and direct debits, ie payment services are used by all bank customers. We talk about payment services when a service provider acting as intermediary between payer and payee transfers funds between the parties in accord with the given instructions.

Details of the disclosure requirement, contract terms and conditions, and the provision of payment services are laid down in the Payment Services Act. It regulates eg the service provider's obligation to provide information on the blanket agreement and executed payments for users of payment services. It also regulates how payments are executed, what the terms and conditions are, and what responsibilities the parties have.

Provision of payment services is subject to authorisation

Payment services can be provided in Finland only by authorised payment institutions or entities that FIN-FSA approves for provision of payment services without actual authorisation. In addition, a credit institution may provide payment services based on its own authorisation. A foreign payment institution authorised in EEA may also provide payment services in Finland, provided proper notification is made to FIN-FSA.

Provision of payment service without authorisation is subject to notification to FIN-FSA

There is an exception to the requirement of authorisation for the provision of payment services; such services can be provided without an authorisation as long as certain requirements are met. These requirements concern the total value of completed transactions, which for natural persons may not exceed an average of EUR 50,000 a month over a period of 12 months, and for legal person an average of EUR 3 million a month. However, those providing payment services without an authorisation must submit a notification to FIN-FSA prior to the commencement of the service. After receiving such a notification, FIN-FSA investigates whether the service provider meets the statutory requirements.

A natural person cannot be authorised as a payment institute. Legal persons must apply for authorisation as a payment institution, if the total value of their payment services exceeds the above-mentioned limits. Application is also required if the service provider wishes to provide payment services to another country within the EEA.

Payment institutions are supervised by FIN-FSA and the consumer ombudsman
FIN-FSA maintains a register of all payment institutions, persons providing payment services without authorisation, and foreign operators that are permitted to provide payment services in Finland. FIN-FSA supervises the meeting of requirements by those entities requiring authorisation as well as those entities that do not require authorisation to provide services in Finland. 

FIN-FSA supervises terms and conditions, disclosure obligations and the actual carrying out of such services in respect of payment institutions, credit institutions and their agents. The consumer ombudsman supervises the same for service providers without authorisation, where the users of the service are consumers.

A link to the register of payment institutions (FIN-FSA's list of supervised entities) can be found under 'See also' in the section on the right.

See also