Next week sees the European Payment Services Directive PSD2 come into effect (all be it delayed). This week my EO WhatsApp group saw a number of worried business owners reach out for advice and information sharing. While the impact on the UK of new requirements for stronger authenticating of online payments may well change again after the 31st October, it certainly is something that many businesses will need to be aware of if their payment platform hasn’t instigated a 2-step verification process.  

As a business we don’t currently take online payments, so it’s not something that directly affects Sapio. However, it’s a term we’re pretty familiar with.  In fact, we are currently conducting a research project across Europe about it right now, and we did another on it in the Spring. Nothing earth shattering there I hear you say. However, we’ve being doing surveys about it since 2017. Back then CCGroup and their client Signicat were really keen to understand awareness levels and where they could take a lead on education. Two years ago there was lot of noise out there about the impact on banks but very little on retailers, nevertheless 51% of UK retailers turning over £30 million per annum were aware of the directive. Not surprisingly though over two thirds didn’t feel well prepared for PSD2.  Therefore, it’s no wonder that two years later small business are still feeling a little at sea regarding it. 

This low awareness and continuing concern is no criticism of anyone of course, but it did make me reflect upon the fact that our role has more of a positive purpose that it might feel sometimes. As a research agency running projects for PR content campaigns, (an area of market research that perhaps doesn’t have the kudos of more strategic insight pieces) we can sometimes lose sight of the positive impact of our work. Signicat’s primary motivator for conducting the work might have been to generate more sales leads, but it contributed to the wider debate and education campaign regarding new legislation. Not only was it enhancing the debate with facts and figures, but it probably also did it in a far more engaging way than the EU body itself. And they’ve continued to research the situation over the years. 

I wasn’t able to contribute to this EO conversation as under our rules of Gestalt I didn’t have a personal direct experience of PSD2 to impart. However, the experience of watching the conversation was reassuring enough for me. Thank you EO. 

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