Payments and Electronic Banking

Understanding innovation,
facilitating payments.

Competition between banks and also between banks and technology-driven companies, such as FinTechs, has intensified in recent years in response to changes in the payment landscape. Digital innovation is reshaping financial services and playing an increasing role in the processing of electronic payments and electronic banking, an area which is witnessing increasing competition from: 

  • New business models such as payment initiation and account information service providers licensed under PSD 2 (Payment Services Directive),
  • New technologies such as cryptocurrencies and the digitisation of payment cards for payments online and at stationary POS terminals, and 
  • The increased tightening of supervisory regulations due to more stringent security requirements under PSD 2, particularly the obligation to provide strong customer authentication and for the provision of secure interfaces and communication with third-party service providers.

In this environment, conventional payment products are frequently being tested or new technologies introduced, particularly the digitisation of payment products on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

Key areas of expertise

At GSK Stockmann, we have established ourselves in this dynamic market of new payment systems and electronic banking as one of the leading legal advisers, renowned for our specialised expertise in innovative payment processes. 

Thanks to an in-depth knowledge of the market and its payment systems – which our lawyers have amply demonstrated not least by providing legal advice and assisting in legislative procedures as expert witnesses – we are able to provide expert advice and guidance on the development of complex and innovative payment systems and e-money products. We also provide advice on matters relating to the set-up and operation of payment systems and on all the regulatory aspects. 

Finally, we offer you our experience in the preparation of licence applications for payment and e-money institutions regulated under the Payment Services Act and advise you on innovative payment products in cooperation models. 

Bringing our expertise in payment standards under the Payment Services Directive (PSD 2) and the RTS (Regulatory Technical Standards) on strong customer authentication and secure communication, we regularly organise seminars for market participants, inviting external speakers who specialise in banking supervision and payment systems. 

Our practice in the field of payment includes in particular the following projects and topics:

  • Support with licensing procedures as a payment institution or e-money institution 
  • Support in product design, preparation of customer business terms and conditions and cooperation agreements 
  • Advice in connection with regulatory standards compliance (in particular PSD 2, including issues relating to strong customer authentication, EMD, MIF, SEPA) as well as regulations of card organisations and payment systems 
  • Platform-based payment solutions 
  • Card or instrument-based payment systems, in particular credit card business (issuing and acquiring) 
  • Mobile payments, in particular digitalised card payments through mobile banking using biometric-based CDCVM (Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method) 
  • E-money products
  • Loyalty schemes and customer loyalty cards 
  • Corporate payments, payment factories and in-house banks 
  • Tax structuring and optimisation (in particular, in relation to the VAT) 

The digitisation of banking, financial and insurance services is another key area for us. Our team has many years of experience and specialist knowledge in legal and (in particular VAT) tax structuring and the implementation of various FinTech models, carrying out pioneering work in many areas. 

Our team provides clients in the finance industry with comprehensive advice on creating their digital business models and on product development, as well as on the drafting of contracts, including cooperation agreements. Naturally our service includes helping you with any necessary licensing procedure at the supervisory authorities responsible. 

Our consulting practice in the field of FinTech includes in particular the following projects and topics:

  • Automated investment advisory services (robo-advisers) 
  • Automated financial portfolio management
  • Algorithm trading, automated order execution and signalling
  • Alternative payment methods
  • Banking-as-a-service/white label banking 
  • Crowd bonds
  • Digital financing platforms (crowdfunding, crowdinvesting, crowdlending) 
  • Digitisation of securitisation transactions
  • Initial coin offerings and smart contracts
  • InsurTech credit factories
  • Crypto- and distributed ledger technology-based applications and products
  • Artificial intelligence and big data
  • Regulatory technology (RegTech) and compliance applications 
  • Partnerships between banks and FinTechs (outsourcing/insourcing) 

© GSK Stockmann 2020