February 21, 2017 / 11:45 AM / 6 months ago

EU banking watchdog revises new payments rules

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The European Union's banking watchdog has eased its proposed rules for increasing choice in how people pay for products and services after the sector warned of unfair competition.

The European Banking Authority Chairman Andrea Enria said changes have been made to the watchdog's draft rules that flesh out the bloc's revised payments services law from January 2018 to prise open a core part of banking to newcomers.

EBA startled the industry last year by proposing that only payments of 10 euros ($10.54) or less would be exempt from mandatory "strong authentification", such as the customer provider a password or fingerprint.

Enria told a conference on Tuesday this limit would be increased to 30 euros.

"However, we disagreed with a number of comments that suggested adding further exemptions, such as on corporate payments," Enria told a Westminster Business Forum conference.

He said the watchdog has also made changes after financial technology or "fintech" firms said they would have difficulty in retrieving data from a customer's bank account, giving lenders an unfair advantage.

"The banks will be obliged to provide both the provider and customers the same level of access," Enria said.

$1 = 0.9487 euros Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Louise Heavens

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