14 March, 2024

ETNO-GSMA position on impersonation fraud in Payment Services Regulation

The GSMA and ETNO strongly encourage policymakers to reconsider their approach to increasing liability for electronic communications services (ECS) providers in cases of impersonation fraud.

Imposing liability on ECS providers will move responsibility of repayment to the victims of fraud, rather than helping to combat fraud from happening. The financial services sector has the direct consumer contact, designs the financial products, and they should and can setup sufficient safeguards when they do so. Telecoms operators provide access to the free and open internet. Our products, including text messages and numbering are widely known and are not designed to cater to the need of the financial sector specifically. If the telecoms sector is to be made financially liable, then it will have to change the way internet access and communication services are provided and setup strict safeguards for the use of text messages to the severe detriment of both the consumers and the financial sector.

Telecoms operators have seen the most effective solutions come from bilateral cooperation with the financial services sector and would encourage policymakers to combat fraud by working with industry to facilitate and encourage this cooperation. The Payment Services Regulation should focus on the cooperation as a solution to combat fraud.

Telecoms operators value consumer trust and are invested in combatting ’spoofing’ fraud. Members of the GSMA and ETNO are already implementing anti-spoofing and wider anti-fraud solutions on a voluntary basis, which have already proven their effectiveness. However, there are obstructions, both technical and legal, to implementing EU-wide measures - obstructions which can vary in different member states where different legislation applies. These would prevent telecoms operators from complying with proposed measures in the Payment Services Regulation, so removing regulatory obstructions must be a first step in a challenging process.

We elaborate on our reflections in the paper. 

© ETNO 2024
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