May 29, 2019
Updated on July 29, 2020
The Revised Payment Service Directive, also known as PSD2 or Open Banking, went into effect on January 13, 2018 in the UK and European Union. PSD2 requires banks to provide open APIs to Third Party Providers (TPPs) such as Plaid. The objectives of PSD2, according to the European Commission website, are to:
Contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market
Improve the level playing field for payment service providers (including new players)
Make payments safer and more secure
In order to access data directly via these PSD2/Open Banking integrations, TPPs and, in some cases, fintechs are required to become registered as an Account Information Service Provider (AISP).
Plaid is a registered AISP (reference number: 804718) as of October 2018. In many cases, you will not need to obtain your own AISP license to access European bank information, as we have already done the work to get the required licensing. This can save you months on application processing time and help you avoid legal fees, unnecessary paperwork, and annual audits.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has provided initial guidance on the type of companies that need to obtain their own AISP license. Generally speaking, a business that "provides consolidated account information" to end users would need its own AISP license, whereas other businesses, such as those engaged in internal fraud detection or credit decisioning, in many cases will not need their own AISP license. You should, of course, closely review the FCA’s guidance with your legal counsel to determine whether you need an AISP license.