Belgium, Spain, France, Cyprus, Poland and Portugal have been asked to notify to the European Commission within the next two months the measures they are taking to update their national legislation in conformity with the latest Directive on e-money. The Directive aims at facilitating market entry, as well as at the taking up and pursuit of the business of electronic money issuance. These rules, including their prudential dimension, are tailored to the specificities of electronic money activities and markets (2009/110/EC).
Electronic money is a digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server. One common type of e-money is the 'electronic purse', where users store relatively small amounts of money on their payment card or other smart card, to use for making small payments. But e-money can also be stored on (and used via) mobile phones or in a payment account on the internet.
The deadline for implementing the rules in question was 30 April 2011. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. If the national authorities do not notify the necessary implementing measures within two months, the Commission may refer the Member States to the Court of Justice of the European Union and may request the Court to impose financial penalties.
The directive aims at European level to:
This should benefit consumers, businesses and the wider European economy.
The directive focuses on modernising EU rules on electronic money, especially bringing the prudential regime for electronic money institutions, in line with the requirements for payment institutions in the Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC).
While the majority of the Member States have fully implemented the Directive, in these six Member States - Belgium, Spain, France, Cyprus, Poland and Portugal - some of the Directive's provisions still have to be implemented and the transposition process is very slow.
If the Directive is not fully implemented in all Member States, companies can not reap the benefits of a clear legal framework designed to strengthen the internal market while ensuring an adequate level of prudential supervision.