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26 October 2017 Supervision Supervision label Supervision Q&A

Question

Is there a license requirement for e-commerce platforms that provide payment services?

Answer

E-commerce platforms that also wish to provide payment services must hold a licence to do so once the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is implemented in the Netherlands.

PSD2 brings further harmonisation to regulations for payment service providers. Once PSD2 is implemented, e-commerce platforms which themselves provide payment services are subject to a licence requirement, irrespective of whether the payment services constitute their main activity or a secondary activity.

The implementation of PSD2 does not change anything for e-commerce platforms which do not themselves provide payment services, but which make use of a third-party payment service provider such as a licensed payment institution or bank.

E-commerce platforms are websites or apps that match demand for goods and services with supply. These activities fall in principle outside our supervisory remit. However, if a trading platform also offers payment services, then the activities fall in principle under the supervisory remit of DNB once PSD2 is implemented.

PSD2 applies if an e-commerce platform for example facilitates a payment from the buyer to the seller. The platform receives funds from the purchaser on its own account, or they are received by a foundation affiliated with the e-commerce platform, which then transfers the payment to the seller. As the trading platform holds the funds in an account for some time, a financial risk arises.

An trading-commerce platform that also offers payment services will therefore have to apply promptly to DNB for a licence, or ensure that its activities fall within the scope of an exemption or an exception under the law, or make use of a third-party payment services provider1 such as a licensed payment institution or bank.

1 This means they must not receive or handle customer funds at any stage.

This Q&A was updated on 26 October 2017 to provide clarification in response to questions received.

Sector(s)

  • Payment institutions