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Commission agrees Recommendation on electronic payment systems

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on electronic payment instruments, setting out minimum transparency, responsibility and customer redress requirements. The Recommendation is addressed to Member States and issuers of electronic payment instruments, and super...
The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on electronic payment instruments, setting out minimum transparency, responsibility and customer redress requirements. The Recommendation is addressed to Member States and issuers of electronic payment instruments, and supersedes a 1988 Recommendation on the subject.

The Recommendation is part of a communication on electronic payments, which outlines measures which aim to enhance consumer confidence in electronic payment instruments in the Single Market. It applies both to remote access payment instruments (such as traditional payment cards, and home and phone-banking applications) and to electronic money products (including stored-value cards and e-money). The Commission intends to review the situation at the end of 1998 and, if it finds unsatisfactory application of the Recommendation, it will put forward a more binding instrument.

Under the terms of the Recommendation, issuers of electronic payment instruments have until the end of 1998 to ensure that:

- Customers have clear information, both before a transaction (contractual terms) and after (statement);
- There is a fair apportionment of responsibilities between issuer and holder of an electronic payment instrument, so as to place the burden on the party closest to resolving the problem;
- Customers have access to simple and effective means of redress.

Member States are also called on to ensure, by the end of 1998, that there are adequate and effective means for settling disputes between an issuer and users.
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