Mobile payment is more and more in the radar of IT companies and even Apple apparently will launch soon their mobile payment platform. However, what regulatory restrictions are applicable to the after the EU PSD Directive?
However, such solution faces some restrictions as the EU PSD Directive limited the offering of payment services to banks, e-money issuers, payment institutions providing an exemption for "payment transactions executed by means of any telecommunication, digital or IT device, where the goods or services purchased are delivered to and are to be used through a telecommunication, digital or IT device, provided that the telecommunication, digital or IT operator does not act only as an intermediary between the payment service user and the supplier of the goods and services".
However, as far as Italy is concerned, the Bank of Italy considerably limits the scope of such exemption clarifying that it is required, among others, that payment operations relate to the purchase of digital goods or services (i.e. the purchased good is not functional to the usage of services in the real world). Therefore, for instance the purchase of mobile apps and possibly even virtual currency might fall within the scope of the exemption, but a cinema ticket would not.
This restrictive interpretation has recently become more flexible when the Bank of Italy allowed the purchase of bus tickets in Florence through the mobile credit. This new approach might lead to considerable new opportunities in the sector. Also, the term "digital good/service" has no definition and therefore or will be open to different interpretations.