Payment Services Supervision Act

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Basic data
Title: Law on the Supervision of Payment Services
Short title: Payment Services Supervision Act
Abbreviation: ZAG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Commercial administrative law , capital market law
References : 7610-22
Original version from: June 25, 2009
( BGBl. I p. 1506 )
Entry into force on: predominantly October 31, 2009
Last revision from: July 17, 2017
( BGBl. I p. 2446 )
Entry into force of the
new version on:
predominantly January 13, 2018
Last change by: Art. 4 G of December 12, 2019
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2602, 2624 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2020
(Art. 20 G of December 12, 2019)
GESTA : D039
Weblink: Legal text
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG) regulates the supervision of payment services in the Federal Republic of Germany .


The law goes back to the first Payment Services Directive from 2007, the intention of which was to create a uniform payment service law in the European internal market. In addition, by removing cross-border obstacles, payment service providers should be empowered to offer their services throughout Europe. The implementation took place in Germany through the law for the implementation of the supervisory regulations of the Payment Services Directive (Payment Services Implementation Act) in 2009.

In order to implement the Second EU Payment Services Directive of 2015, the Payment Services Supervision Act was adapted to the changed requirements for the supervision of payment service providers in the EU with the Act to Implement the Second Payment Services Directive on January 13, 2018.

Purpose of regulation

Pending implementation of the first Payment Services Directive Payment Services were under no uniform legal framework, so that when the money remittance business worldwide informal systems have been established, such as so-called Hawala -Banking (system of "Two pots"). In many parts of the world, these represent reliable and inexpensive methods for fast money transfers, but regularly operate outside the regular and regulated financial system and are therefore susceptible to abuse by criminal organizations for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Payment service provider

The law differentiates between payment institutions and payment service providers (often referred to as Payment Service Providers - PSP). In addition to payment institutions, the term payment service provider also includes credit institutions and e-money institutions. The Payment Services Supervision Act distinguishes between different payment service providers in accordance with Section 1 (1) sentence 1:

  1. the federal government , the states , the municipalities and associations of municipalities as well as the federal or regional administrative bodies, insofar as they do not act sovereignly,
  2. E-money institutions,
  3. the European Central Bank , the Deutsche Bundesbank and other central banks in the European Union or the other states of the Agreement on the European Economic Area , if they are not acting in their capacity as monetary authority or other authority
  4. Credit institutions and
  5. Payment institutions.

Payment institutions are all companies that provide payment services on a commercial basis or to an extent that requires business operations to be set up in a commercial manner, without falling under numbers 1 to 4.

Payment services

The Payment Services Supervision Act defines payment services within the meaning of the Act in Section 1 Paragraph 1 Clause 2 . Payment services are accordingly

  1. the deposit or withdrawal business,
  2. the payment business in the form of direct debit, transfer business and payment card business without credit,
  3. the payment business with the granting of credit,
  4. the acquisition business,
  5. the money transfer business ,
  6. Payment initiation services and
  7. Account information services.

The provision of a payment service within the meaning of the law requires a permit . A license requirement according to the ZAG exists only for payment institutions. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) supervises the payment institutions and grants permits to provide payment services. As part of the licensing procedure, a. Proof that the payment institution has sufficient initial capital, a business plan with a budget plan for the first three financial years and a description of the measures to meet the security requirements ( Section 17 ZAG). In its activities, the payment institution must in particular ensure that customer funds are secured in the event of insolvency.

Cross-border trade in services

Due to the freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment , payment institutions that have the permission of a European supervisory authority can also provide their payment services in Germany by way of cross-border services.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Directive 2007/64 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 13, 2007 on payment services in the internal market - First Payment Services Directive (ZDR, English abbreviation PSD)
  2. Act for the implementation of the regulatory provisions of the Payment Services Directive (Payment Services Implementation Act) - text, changes, reasons
  3. Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market OJ. L 337/35 of 23 December 2015 - Second Payment Services Directive (PSD II)
  4. Payment Services Directive (PSD II) website of the Austrian Ministry of Finance , accessed on June 19, 2017
  5. Payment Services Directive - text, changes, justifications
  6. Volker Baas, Anna L. Izzo-Wagner, Till Christopher Otto: Government publishes drafts for the implementation of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive and the Second Payment Services Directive January 13, 2017
  7. Implementation of the Second Payment Services Directive planned . German Bundestag. March 23, 2017. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved on August 9, 2017.