On 11 September 2019, the Bank of Spain has issued a communication (only available in Spanish) regarding the upcoming entry into force of strong customer authentication ("SCA") mandate for electronic payment transactions, scheduled for 14 September 2019.


Further to paragraph 13 of the Opinion of the European Banking Authority ("EBA") of 21 June 2019 (see here), Bank of Spain accepts to grant issuers and acquirers an adjustment period in order to comply with SCA, for card-based e-commerce transactions only. This is in order to allow issuers, acquirers and merchants to make the necessary systems changes in order to comply with the SCA requirements.

The communication also states that issuers and acquirers need to submit migration planes, which Bank of Spain will review before granting more time to comply. It is important to note that Bank of Spain has not specified what should be included in the migrations plans, or the maximum additional time that they would be prepared to grant. Conversations between representatives of the payments industry and the Bank of Spain are still ongoing in Spain.

So the situation in Spain is:

- similar to Germany, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands and Finland, where the national regulator has also announced that it was prepared to grant more time to issuers or acquirers, but has not publicly communicated on the duration of the adjustment period.

- Unlike the UK, Denmark, Hungary and France who have all announced a country-wide duration for the adjustment period.

- Unlike Sweden that has indicated that it is no minded to grant adjustment period, although issuers and acquirers can still try and present a migration plan on a case-by-case basis.


The EBA is expected to publish shortly an Opinion that is meant to ensure that all national regulators granting adjustment periods for SCA for e-commerce card-based payments will grant the same period of time. Watch this space, therefore…

Should you have any questions concerning the above, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of the Bird & Bird global payments team.

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