The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) today published a circular on “limited networks”. The circular explains the provision governing exceptions from the scope of the Payment Services Act 2018 (ZaDiG 2018; Zahlungsdienstegesetz 2018) as well as limited networks’ obligation to notify the FMA about such an exception, and stating the FMA’s legal view regarding bonus points schemes and regional currencies.
Various payment instruments with an element of personalisation fall under the definition of the term “limited networks” to allow the purchasing of a good or service, which is applicable in a defined and restricted environment. Examples of limited networks include store cards with voucher functions, fuel cards and apps used to purchase parking vouchers. Such limited networks are excluded from the provisions of the Payment Services Act 2018 (ZaDiG 2018; Zahlungsdienstegesetz 2018), provided that they meet certain requirements (Article 3 para. 3 no. 11 ZaDiG 2018).
However some providers of such payment instruments must however notify the FMA about making use of this provision for exempting limited networks, such as in the case that the total value of payment transactions within the last twelve months has exceeded EUR 1 million.
The circular serves as guidance for affected companies and explains in detail using practical examples under which circumstances a limited network under ZaDiG 2018 exists are under which circumstances it is necessary to notify the FMA about making use of the exception. In addition, the circular also explains the FMA’s legal view regarding bonus point systems as well as regional currencies.
The FMA uses circulars to state its legal view derived from either a law or a regulation about supervisory law issues, although no rights or obligations are able to be derived from such circulars.
The circular on “limited networks” can be downloaded (currently in German only) from the FMA website via the following link: https://www.fma.gv.at/fma/fma-rundschreiben/
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Ms. Annemarie Bauer