Good news for European consumers who pay online for goods and services. New rules make it cheaper, easier and safer to make electronic payments.

The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which came into force on January 13, aims to modernise Europe’s payment services to the benefit of both consumers and businesses, so as to keep pace with this rapidly evolving market.

“This legislation is another step towards a digital single market in the EU. It will promote the development of innovative online and mobile payments, which will benefit the economy and growth,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. “With PSD2 becoming applicable, we are banning surcharges for consumer debit and credit card payments. This could save more than €550m per year for EU consumers. Consumers will also be better protected when they make payments.”

According to a European Commission press release, the new rules prohibit surcharging, which are additional charges for payments with consumer credit or debit cards, both in shops or online. Also, the rules will open the EU payment market to companies offering payment services, based on them gaining access to information about the payment account.

There will also be strict security requirements for electronic payments and for the protection of consumers’ financial data.