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Alternative payment methods

Introducing alternative payment methods

Alternative payment methods

Ever since their introduction, financial services have been linked with innovative technologies. Bringing together traditional and new financial services with new delivery channels has recently been gaining momentum. This area includes mainly innovative solutions that make financial services quicker, visually more attractive and more accessible. Placing the consumer in the driving seat, their goal is to bring modern, accessible, price-competitive and time-saving financial services.

Alternative payment methods

When paying for goods or services, consumers have a plenitude of payment methods to choose from: from the traditional ones that use cash (e.g. cash on delivery) to cashless payments. These can be carried out using various systems based on different innovative technologies (e.g. card payments, bank transfers or contactless payments with smartphones, tablets, watches and wristbands).

Payments for goods and services are often processed through the Internet, electronic banking, QR codes, installed applications or using a combination of different technical means with different security features.


  • I. Payment services and electronic money

    A payment service provider may be subject to different regulatory requirements depending on the way a payment is carried out. The question of whether payments using an innovative technology should or should not be subject to regulation is always assessed individually on a case-by-case basis. Payment services and electronic money are governed by the Payment Services Act.

    Ia. Types of payment services
    Payment service means:

    a) placement of cash on a payment account and all the operations required for operating a payment account;

    b) cash withdrawals from a payment account and all the operations required for operating a payment account;

    c) execution of payment transactions, including transfers of funds from or to a payment account with the user’s payment service provider:

    1. by credit transfer;
    2. through a payment card or another payment instrument;
    3. by direct debit;

    d) execution of payment transactions where the funds are covered by a credit for a payment service user:

    1. in the form of an authorised overdraft on the payment account, namely:
      1. a. by credit transfer;
      2. b. through a payment card or another payment instrument;
      3. c. by direct debit;
    2. in the form of a credit facility through a payment card or another payment instrument;

    e) issuing of payment instruments and/or acquiring of payment transactions;

    f) money remittance;

    g) payment initiation services;

    h) account information services.

    Third parties
    Third parties include providers of payment initiation services, providers of account information services and service providers issuing card-based payment instruments. These providers are defined in the PSD2 directive, which has been transposed into Slovak law by the Payment Services Act.

    Payment initiation service means a service to initiate a payment order at the request of the payment service user with respect to a payment account held at another payment service provider.

    Account information service means an online service to provide consolidated information on one or more payment accounts held by the payment service user with either another payment service provider or with more than one payment service provider.

    Ib. Electronic money
    Electronic money means an electronic, including magnetic, store of monetary value. Electronic money may be issued only on previous receipt of funds and only at par value, i.e. for EUR 50, a user will get 50 units of electronic money. Electronic money represents a financial claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions, and which, based on a contract, is accepted by a person other than the electronic money issuer.

    Depending on the technology used, electronic money can be stored in hardware or software products. Hardware-based products include chip cards and pre-paid payment cards. Software-based products often employ specialised software such as applications that enable the transfer of monetary values. As opposed to hardware-based products, they typically require an online connection.

  • II. Licensing process

    IIa. Payment services
    Based on a written application, Národná banka Slovenska decides on:

    • the granting or amending of an authorisation to provide payment services (Payment institutions – Article 64 of the Payment Services Act);
    • the issuance of a decision on registration of limited payment service providers (Limited payment service providers– Article 79a of the Payment Services Act);
    • the issuance of a decision on registration of account information service providers (Account information service providers – Article 79b of the Payment Services Act).

    IIb. Electronic money
    Based on a written application, Národná banka Slovenska decides on the granting of an authorisation:

    • to issue electronic money without limitation (Electronic money institution – Article 82 of the Payment Services Act);
    • to issue electronic money in a limited scope (Article 87 of the Payment Services Act).
  • III. Legislation

    The provision of payment services and issuance of electronic money are governed by Act No 492/2009 on payment services (and amending certain acts), which transposes into Slovak law the PSD2 Directive.

    The PSD2 Directive was supplemented by implementing rules which elaborate on certain aspects of payment service provision:

    Regulatory technical standards (delegated/implementing regulations):

    • regulatory technical standards on the criteria for appointing central contact points;
    • regulatory technical standards setting technical requirements on development, operation and maintenance of the electronic central register and on access to the information contained therein;
    • technical standards with regard to the details and structure of the information to be entered by competent authorities in their public registers
    • regulatory technical standards for strong authentication and secure standards of communication;
    • regulatory technical standards for the cooperation between competent authorities in home and host Member States in the supervision of payment institutions operating on a cross-border basis;
    • regulatory technical standards for the cooperation and exchange of information between competent authorities relating to passport notifications for payment service providers.


    • guidelines on the information to be provided for the authorisation of payment institutions and e-money institutions and for the registration of account information service providers;
    • guidelines on the criteria on how to stipulate the minimum monetary amount of the professional indemnity insurance or other comparable guarantee;
    • guidelines on major incident reporting;
    • guidelines on procedures for complaints of alleged infringements of Payment Services Directive;
    • guidelines on the security measures for operational and security risks of payment services;
    • guidelines on reporting requirements for fraud data.

Documents of international standardization institutions

European Supervisory Authorities

International Financial Market Regulation Organizations