United States: Variations sur les services de paiement

Revue de l'article

Cet article est extrait de Revue Banque n°834

Très petites entreprises: les banques sont-elles à la hauteur ?

Au centre. Au centre (en tout cas dans le cadre de cette chronique, car sinon il existe bien d'autres choses plus centrales...), il y a donc les « services de paiement » dont, paradoxalement, on cherche encore la notion, que l'on ne trouvera sans doute pas, puisque le législateur européen a préféré dresser une liste plutôt que donner une définition. Tout au plus sait-on en effet que les sept, et désormais, huit services énumérés en annexe de la DSP 1, puis de la DSP 2, couvrent une ou plusieurs activités exercées à titre professionnel [1] (art. 4, 3) ; que, hormis cette « verrue » qu'est le nouveau service d'information sur les comptes, ces services sont le point de départ (retrait ou versement d'espèces sur un compte de paiement, exécution d'opérations de paiement, émission d'instruments de paiement et initiation de paiement) ou d'arrivée (acquisition d'opérations de paiement), voire l'aboutissement (transmission de fonds) d'opérations de paiement, soit « toute action, initiée par le payeur ou pour son compte ou par le bénéficiaire, consistant à verser, à transférer ou à retirer des fonds, indépendamment de toute obligation sous-jacente entre le payeur et le bénéficiaire » (art. 4, 5) ; ou que, peut-être, ils ne sont plus seulement « commerciaux » ou « techniques » lorsque leurs prestataires entrent en possession des fonds (cf. DSP 2, cons. 10 et 11 et art. 3), ce qui laisse entendre, du moins fonctionnellement, que l'application du droit des services de paiement est déclenchée lorsqu'il s'agit de protéger les fonds des utilisateurs.

On ne peut guère ajouter grand-chose d'autre, sinon, au détour d'un récent arrêt de la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne [2], se poser la question de savoir si est bien encore un service de paiement, couvert par les textes, le service qui a permis d'exécuter une « opération de paiement non autorisée ». En l'espèce, une société indûment prélevée par sa banque entendait faire « sauter » le verrou du délai de contestation de treize mois de la DSP 1 en faisant valoir qu'y échappaient les « prélèvements initiés par le bénéficiaire, qui ont été exécutés sur un compte de paiement dont ce bénéficiaire n'est pas titulaire et sans que le titulaire de ce compte y ait consenti d'une quelconque manière » (pt 32). L'argument était vicieux mais tout de même trop gros, car il existe bel et bien toute une série de règles propres aux opérations de paiement non autorisées : un « droit du paiement pathologique ». De sorte que, nous disent les juges européens, la notion de services de paiement, au sens de l'article 2, paragraphe 1, de la DSP 1, s'étend à « l'exécution de prélèvements initiés par le bénéficiaire sur un compte de paiement dont il n'est pas titulaire et auxquels le titulaire du compte ainsi débité n'a pas consenti » (pt 48). Quant à la notion d'« utilisateur de services de paiement », qui suppose pourtant la qualité de payeur et/ou de bénéficiaire (cf. DSP 1, art. 4, 10), elle doit de même « être interprétée en ce sens qu'elle comprend le titulaire d'un compte de paiement sur lequel des prélèvements ont été exécutés sans son consentement » (pt 53).

Au-dessus. Au-dessus, sinon de la notion, du moins de la catégorie des services de paiement, on trouve assurément celle des « services financiers » [3], au sens, désormais un peu daté, de « tout service ayant trait à la banque, au crédit, à l'assurance, aux retraites individuelles, aux investissements et aux paiements » [4]. On n'apprend guère plus en consultant le Livre blanc de la Commission sur la politique des services financiers 2005-2010 [5], sauf à remarquer qu'il fait référence à la future DSP 1 et fait état d'une évaluation en cours de la DME 1, qui pourrait avoir freiné l'évolution du marché ; à observer encore que le processus de réforme économique dit de « Lisbonne » compte parmi ses priorités l'achèvement du « marché unique numérique » [6]. Dix ans plus tard, un livre, cette fois vert, sur les services financiers de détail : « De meilleurs produits, un plus large choix et davantage d'opportunités pour les consommateurs et les entreprises » [7], fait le constat que n'existe toujours pas de marché des services financiers de détail de dimension réellement européenne ; lesquels services financiers de détail regroupent « un ensemble de prestations essentielles pour la population » (p. 2) : « assurances, prêts, paiements, comptes courants, comptes d'épargne et autres produits d'investissement de détail » (p. 3). Par suite, un Plan d'action relatif aux services financiers pour les consommateurs : de meilleurs produits, un plus grand choix a été publié par la Commission européenne [8], où l'on retrouve, en particulier, des initiatives abouties : directive Comptes de paiement [9], règlement eIDAS [10], et à venir (mais concrétisées depuis) : réforme du règlement (CE) n° 9242009 concernant les paiements transfrontaliers dans la Communauté [11] ou réforme du cadre relatif à la lutte contre la fraude et la contrefaçon des moyens de paiement autres que les espèces [12].

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