The Directive provides the legal foundation for the creation of an EU-wide single market for payments. It establishes a modern and comprehensive set of rules applicable to all payment services in the European Union. The Directive ensures that the rules on electronic payments — e.g., paying by debit card or transferring money — are the same in 30 European countries (European Union, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). The goal is to make cross-border payments as easy, efficient and secure as "national" payments within a Member State.
The PSD also seeks to improve competition by opening up payment markets to new entrants, thus fostering greater efficiency and cost-reduction. At the same time the Directive provides the necessary legal platform for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).