ECB extends PISA framework to cover crypto and electronic wallets

The governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has approved the expansion of the ECB’s electronic payment oversight to cover crypto transfers and other digital payment tokens.

According to a press release issued by the ECB on Monday, the new policy is part of a revamped Eurosystem electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangement (PISA) framework by the central bank.

The ECB plans to use the new PISA framework to oversee the activities of companies in the electronic payment arena with a focus on market segments such as e-money transfers, digital payment tokens, and electronic wallets among others.

“The PISA framework will also cover crypto-asset-related services, such as the acceptance of crypto-assets by merchants within a card payment scheme and the option to send, receive or pay with crypto-assets via an electronic wallet,” the announcement stated.

Today’s announcement comes as payment giants like Mastercard and Visa are accelerating the proliferation of stablecoin-linked credit and debit cards.

As part of Monday’s press release, the ECB stated that the new policy was in tandem with the future European Union regulations on stablecoins and cryptocurrencies in general.

The ECB also advised companies that already fall under the Eurosystem regulatory ambit to ensure compliance with the new rules by November 15, 2022.