Payment Services Directive

Even in Italy, payment services such as credit transfers, card payments, RID (direct debits), RIBA (electronic bank receipts), MAV (payments by notice) and others are evolving in accordance with the European PSD Payment Services Directive, which provides added stimulus for the establishment of a single payments market in the European community. The Directive was adopted by Member States on 1 November 2009. In Italy, it became effective on 1 March 2010.
The regulations on direct debits, such as RIBA, RID, MAV and Bank Payment Slips, became effective on 5 July 2010. Furthermore, the regulations do not currently apply to payment services regarding Public Administration, such as the Treasury and F24 payments.

The Directive applies to the 27 Member States of the European Union, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The Directive applies to payments in Euro and in any of the other official currencies of European Union states.

The three pillars of the PSD

The Directive involves significant changes in the Customer/Bank relationship, based on several general principles:

  • execution of payments with predefined and more stringent timing
  • greater information for the customer
  • uniformity of rules in the single common market

Customers affected

All customers benefit from the Payment Services Directive, which applies to consumer and non-consumer customers. Anyone making or receiving a payment is influenced by the changes introduced by the Directive for the various payment products and services.
However, some exceptions to the provisions may apply for non-consumer customers, such as those regarding reporting obligations and expenses.

Among SME customers, the Directive defines micro enterprises as those with up to ten employees and annual sales or a total annual budget of less than Eur 2 million.
In Italy micro enterprises are treated as consumers, with some exceptions, such as the terms for exercising the write-off possibility for direct debits.

The main payment services and products involved

The main services involved are:

  • credit transfers (Italian credit transfers, foreign credit transfers and BEU Bonifico Europeo Unico or Single European Credit Transfer)
  • payments via credit cards, debit cards or prepaid cards
  • RIBA (electronic bank receipts)
  • MAV (payments by notice)
  • bank payment slips
  • cash deposits and withdrawals.


The Directive does not apply, however, to direct cash payments between payer and payee, cheques, drafts, traveller's cheques, paper-based postal money orders and payments related to securities asset servicing (for example, the purchase of securities).

Geographical area and currencies

The new rules are valid when the banks of both the payer and payee are in one of the 27 countries of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and the payments are settled in Euro or in any of the other official currencies of European Union states, such as the pound sterling or Danish Krone, as well as the currencies of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The currency rules are also applied to credit transfers where the counterpart bank is not in the European Union or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (one-leg transactions). For example, the debit value date of a credit transfer in Euro to a bank in the USA cannot be antedated with respect to the debit date.

Currency Country  

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany,

Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands,

Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

Czech Koruna Czech Republic  
Danish Krone Denmark  
Estonian Kroon Estonia  
Iceland Krona Iceland  
Norwegian Kroner Norway  
Swedish Krona Sweden  
Hungarian Forint
Swiss Franc Liechtenstein  
Lats Latvia  
Leu Romania  
Lev Bulgaria  
Litas Lithuania  
British Pound United Kingdom  
Zloty Poland  

Main changes

Execution and timing of payments

Payments are faster and timing is predetermined.

In general, payments without currency conversion ordered by the Payer are carried out within one working day subsequent to receipt of the order (execution in D+1, where D is the day of order receipt) or, until the end of 2011, within two subsequent working days for paper-based orders submitted in the branch (execution in D+2).
Payment is carried out by crediting the amount to the payee's bank.

If the payment order is received by the bank on a non-workday, or after the deadline for execution of the day's transactions (i.e., the cut-off, for example 5:30 pm for a credit transfer order via Internet), the order is considered to have been received on the subsequent workday.

Payments received in favour of the payee are made available on the same day in which they arrive at the bank (execution in D+0, where D is the day in which the bank receives the funds).

The customer may continue to indicate a future date for execution of the payment.

Debit and credit value date

Upon adoption of the Directive, the debit value date for payments cannot be earlier than the debit date. In other words, it is no longer possible to backdate the debit value date.

It is therefore necessary that the payment orders received by the Bank from customers have a predetermined date of availability of funds to the payee, in order to complete transactions in accordance with the desired deadlines, such as in the case of payments of credit transfers to pay salaries.

The credit value date of payments to payee customers cannot be later than the date of credit to the payee's bank. In other words, it is no longer possible to defer the credit value date.

In summary:

  • for the payer customer      Debit value date not earlier than debit date
  • for the payee customer     Settlement date = credit date = availability date
                                                     Credit value date no later than credit date


For example, payment orders for salaries carried out through remote banking must be received from customers at least one day before the desired credit date: consequently, the settlement date (namely the date of credit to the payee bank) is the workday subsequent to the date of receipt of the order (execution in D+1).

As a further example, the creditor customer of a RIBA (electronic bank receipt) or RID (direct debit) is credited as soon as the bank receives the funds, with the same value date and immediate availability.

IBAN unique identifier

Payments are carried out based on the payee's unique identifier, which for credit transfers is the IBAN. Therefore, the correct IBAN must be provided in order to guarantee execution of a credit transfer, as it is no longer possible to send payment orders with the old banking details.

If the payer provides the wrong IBAN, the Bank is not responsible for the incorrect payment, although it will do its best to recover the funds. Furthermore, to ensure the crediting of incoming credit transfers within the day, the payee must ensure that payers making credit transfers in their favour use the correct IBAN.

Retail collections - technical forms

The crediting and availability of funds for RIBA and RID orders takes place at the settlement date, namely the same day in which the funds are received by the creditor's bank:

  • Ri-Ba same bank (creditor and debtor are customers of the same Bank) SETTLEMENT DATE=EXPIRY DATE
  • Ri-Ba other bank (creditor and debtor are customers of different banks) SETTLEMENT DATE=EXPIRY DATE + 1 day


If the credit is requested on a grouped, periodic basis, the value date is calculated as the average weighted value date

Any past due amounts for Ri-Ba and RID orders are debited with a value date equal to the settlement date.

The presentation deadlines have been revised only for Ri-Ba, while ordinary RIDs remain unchanged.The Payment Limit Date cannot be used for RIDs. Therefore, Expired RIDs cannot be presented (with consequent predated value date for crediting of the payment).

Finally, payment of the Ri-Ba must take place within the expiry date. After said deadline, the Ri-Ba will be considered past due.


The consumer customer may refuse to acknowledge an unauthorised or incorrect payment within 13 months from the debit. This includes, for example, payment card purchases, credit transfers and direct debit payments considered to be incorrect.

Specific treatment is reserved for RID (direct debits) and the new ADUE (SEPA direct debit) service, even in the case of transactions that have been properly authorised and executed:

  • for the RID product, the consumer is entitled to a refund within 8 weeks from the debit, compared to the previously envisaged 5 days, if the amount is higher than what was reasonably expected;
  • for the ADUE product, the limit of 8 weeks is recognised for all customers, both consumer and non-consumer.

The text of the PSD 2007/64/EC

To access the European Directive on Payment Services (Directive 2007/64/EC of 13 November 2007), click here.
For complete consultation of European Union law, the updated text of the Directive is available on the EUR-Lex site of the European Commission (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/).