Today, the European Commission presented its new action plan in order to better integrate the European Single Market for consumer financial services. In the context of the Commission’s Single Digital Market Strategy, this Action Plan aims to provide European consumers with better access to and greater choice of financial services especially across borders. In this respect, innovative technologies and online services in the financial services sector ("FinTech") are of essential importance for an integrated single market.
The action plan includes the following major goals:
- Increase consumer trust and encourage cross-border services: This should be achieved by making it easier for drivers to take their no-claims bonus ('bonus-malus') abroad, by reducing fees for cross-border transactions involving non-Euro currencies and guaranteeing more transparent pricing of car rental insurance.
- Support the development of an innovative digital world: This may include the use of electronic identification and trust services for checking the identity of customers as well as ways to monitor the practices of digital providers selling financial services online or by phone in order to check whether respective rules need to be updated.
To ensure the business and competitiveness of the European FinTech sector, the Commission seeks to enshrine the following three principles:
- Technology-neutrality: Ensure a level playing field with the same regulatory rules applying to traditionally- and digitally-sold products and financial services.
- Proportionality: Provide rules that are suitable for different business models, size and activities of the regulated entities.
- Improved integrity: Guarantee more transparency, privacy and security for consumers.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets, noted: "European consumers and firms should be able to take full advantage of a true Single Market for financial services. Consumers should have access to the best products available across the EU, not just within their own country. At the same time, we want to explore the full potential of the technology that's out there. If harnessed well, it has the potential to change for the better the financial industry and the way people access financial services."
Source: European Commission