Amendment to payment services act in Poland

October 3, 2023
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The function of the Polish market of payment services is managed by the Payment Services Act (ustawa o uslugach platniczych) which plays a crucial role in maintaining a robust framework. With a view to ensuring the continued evolution and effectiveness of this legislation, an amendment was made on the 22nd of August 2023 by the Polish President Andrzej Sebastian Duda. It includes a 30-day vacatio legis and proposes important changes to the payment industry, including the activities of SPI.

Key Changes Introduced by the Amendment

By addressing any existing issues or limitations in the Act, the amendments seek to create a more robust and inclusive regulative ecosystem. The amendment brings forth a series of important modifications to the Act, namely:

  • updated descriptions of payment instruments and the method of issuing them;
  • changes in the licensing process of the authorized payment institution – the amendment cancels the obligation to obtain an assessment from Narodowy Bank Polski – which currently applies to those APIs that cover the acquiring service;
  • now Account Information Service Providers (AISPs) are required to warrant users’ claims with insurance, a banking or an insurer’s guarantee.

The below list of modifications includes more.

Innovations for Polish SPI

The next new components will broaden the range of papers comprising the SPI application:

  • an explanation of organizational techniques that make it possible to determine the overall value of payment operations (for the purpose of calculating the transactional limit of 1.5 million euro on avg. monthly).
  • Poland’s AML policy
  • Business plans, financial projections, risk management protocols, client money policies, and descriptions of ancillary services (such as currency exchange).

What are the anticipated consequences of the Amendment?

In fact, this could complicate and lengthen the period of licensing procedure. The ultimate assessments of the modifications, however, need wait for KNF, to create mechanisms for reviewing applications in the updated manner. The new stipulations will also refer to license processes commenced under the “previous” act but not yet completed as of the Amendment’s effective date.

Transaction limit increased during transfer (SPI to API)

The fact of filing an API licensing request, in the existing legit position, completely precludes the employemnt of this limitation for the applicants until the license processes are finally settled (e.g., by obtaining an API license). Beginning on January 1, 24, the SPIs that appealed for API licenses will fall into an expanded payment operation limit, but it will not surpass the value shared to KNF prior to sending the request. Briefly, for each SPI asking for an API authorization, a different limit will apply.

Non-extending the scope of the SPI license

The establishment of a prohibition on submitting requests to broaden the scope of an SPI license during the time that a specific SPI surpasses the transaction limit (often EUR 1.5 million per month) is the final significant modification for SPIs. The prolonged adaptive period states that this additional prohibition will also go into effect at the beginning of 2024.

When will the new provisions take effect?

The changes mark another chapter in the evolution of the payment services industry. With its potential to address current limitations and promote innovation, it is essential to recognize the importance of this legislative change. The two examples of extended transition stage stated above aside, the changes to the Act take effect 30 days after the novel was published on August 29, 2023. In order to be ready for impending changes from a compliance, regulative, business, and employment law standpoint, it is advised that your SPI start preparing.

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