Migration and Home Affairs

Combatting Fraud and Counterfeiting of Non-Cash Means of Payment

Non-cash payments constitute an increasing share of overall payments. With the rising prevalence of e-commerce and other transactions at a distance, their importance for the economy is growing. Security has continually improved with the introduction of standards applying to all Payment Service Providers for all electronic transactions and for access to the online banking environment.

However, available data shows that frauds are still on the rise and affect the trust of the public in digital services and undermine the strengthening of the digital single market. Fraudsters manage to adapt rapidly their modi operandi to evolving technologies and exploit legal loopholes and discrepancies, setting up transnational criminal networks, posing challenges to law enforcement.

In the European Agenda on Security, the Commission committed to reviewing and possibly extending legislation on combatting fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payments to take account of newer forms of crime and counterfeiting in financial instruments.

After the publication of an Inception Impact Assessment in May 2016 informing stakeholders and citizens about the initiative, the Commission launched a series of consultation activities, summarised in the Consultation strategy.

The consultation strategy outlines the consultation objectives, maps the relevant stakeholders and explains which consultation methods and tools the European Commission is using in the course of the evaluation and impact assessment. Please note that this document is provided for information only and does not commit the European Commission in any way.

As part of the consultation activities an open public consultation was launched on 1 March 2017 and was open until 24 May 2017.

The input from the consultation activities, together with the results of an evaluation of the current legislative framework, were incorporated in an impact assessment study (see also its executive summary), which determined that a new Directive was the preferred option to address the current gaps.

On 13 September 2017 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on combatting fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/413/JHA. The proposed Directive aims to strengthen the ability of law enforcement authorities to tackle this form of crime by expanding the scope of the offences related to information systems to all payment transactions, including transactions through virtual currencies. The proposed law also introduces common rules on the level of penalties and clarifies the scope of Member States' jurisdiction in such offences. The Commission proposal is currently under discussion by the co-legislators (Council of the European Union and the European Parliament).

View other documents related to the proposed Directive