Time to read: The must-reads on payment transaction law

Must-Reads zum Zahlungsverkehrsrecht | must-reads on payment transaction law | PayTechLaw

Believe it or not, there is a silver lining to being in lockdown and having to cancel Easter holidays. It gives back to people something that has been in rather short supply over the last few years: time. If you are interested in payment transaction law and the supervision of payment service providers, we have something for you: the must-reads on payment transaction law.

With our reading list in this blog post, you can meaningfully use the extra time you have while also not taking up too much internet bandwidth. Also, the more you read now, the more time you will have for your social contacts once we are finally allowed to see them again in person. So you see, there is every reason to busy yourself with payment transaction law now rather than constantly refreshing your screen to check the number of infected people! Or, to quote Voltaire: reading nurtures the soul.

Supervisory law

Are you interested in what payment transaction activities require a licence? And would you like to know what exceptions are available to the licence requirement? Then BaFin’s Guidance Note entitled “Notes on the Payment Services Supervision Act” is just the right thing for you. In its Guidance Note, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), which is the competent authority in Germany for the supervision of payment services providers, gives some useful tips on what activities are permissible (without a licence) and which ones are not.

Have you reached the conclusion that you require a licence and you now wish to find out how to obtain one? Then take a look at the EBA Guidelines on the information to be provided for the authorisation of payment institutions and e-money institutions and for the registration of account information services providers under Article 5(5) of Directive (EU) 2015/2366. This rather clunky phrase refers to a sort of manual for a licence application or the registration as a payment services provider. The document was published by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

The EBA also prepared Guidelines on Outsourcing. In this document, the EBA describes the requirements it considers useful with respect to payment services providers and other companies subject to supervision outsourcing their activities. Even though BaFin is planning to implement these guidelines in its own circular, we still assume that a lot of what is contained in the EBA Guidelines will come to pass.

Anti-money laundering law

If you are interested in what new regulations now apply in the area of anti-money laundering law since 1 January 2020, take a look at the overview Stephanie Wagner has provided on PayTechLaw. In this overview, every new rule which has applied since the beginning of 2020 has been highlighted.

Additionally, BaFin has published interpretation and application notes on the German Anti-Money Laundering Act. This document contains a systematic overview of the obligations that, according to the BaFin, apply to payment services providers and other institutions for the purpose of preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.

To those of you who would like to know what direction anti-money laundering will take, we can recommend reading the EBA’s draft consultation on the Risk Factor Guidelines. In its draft, the EBA proposes some far-reaching changes, particularly with respect to the question of how anti-money laundering due diligence obligations need to be fulfilled.

General presentations and overviews

Does this situation also sound familiar to you: You are discussing an issue relating to payment transaction law with a (supposed) expert who bombards you with lots of legal jargon. If so, take a look at our glossary which contains the most important terms from banking, banking supervisory, payment transaction and anti-money laundering law. We at PayTechLaw have explained numerous technical terms in the glossary in as simple a way as possible so that you don’t necessarily have to be a lawyer to understand them.

If you would like to gain an overview of the legal sources that are important in the area of payment transactions, you may find our overviews on supervisory law and anti-money laundering law useful. These overviews contain clickable diagrams of the most important laws and publications of supervisory authorities for payment services providers.


As you can see, there are plenty of ways to avoid cabin fever! If you believe a document to be missing from our reading list, please let me know and I will be happy to add it. After all, we all have to stick together now. Stay healthy.


Cover picture: Copyright © Adobe Stock /Fly_dragonfly

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