Payment services without direct non-cash component (article 1:5a(2), under (a), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of the Act)
Payment services involving only coins or banknotes or paper cheques, bills of exchange or comparable instruments are exempted from the provisions of the Act. Such services do not involve a payment account and have no non-cash component.
Consequently, transactions in which cash is paid on presentation of a credit card, cheque or a bearer document of value as well as exchange transactions are exempted.
Note: This exemption does not extend to the supervision of exchange transactions. The Act contains a separate prohibition against the pursuit of the business of an exchange office. Under section 2: 54i of the Act, anyone wishing to pursue the business of an exchange office must obtain authorisation from DNB.
Also exempted are services in respect of the transportation and processing of cash. However, as soon as a non-cash component comes into play, for instance if the cash transported and handled is temporarily held on an account of the cash-in-transit company, the exemption does not apply.
So-termed cashback transactions are also exempted. A cashback transaction is a service offered to retail customers whereby an amount is added to the total purchase price of a transaction paid by debit card and the customer receives that amount in cash along with the purchase.
Payment services provided to others than end-users, and intragroup payment services (article 1:5a(2), under (h), (m) and (n) of the Act)
Payment services not involving any direct end-users and intragroup payment services are exempted. Cases in point are payment transactions within a (central) payment system or within the payment service provider’s enterprise or between payment service providers or between a parent company and its subsidiaries.
Trade agents (article 1:5a(2), under (b), of the Act)
Payment transactions effected through a trade agent acting on behalf of the payor or the payee are exempted.
The trade agent acts as intermediary between the supplier of a good or service and the buyer. The trade agent acts ‘for account’ of the principal. Recognition as a trade agent is conditional upon the existence of a lasting (commercial) cooperation between the intermediary and the principal. There must be an agreement between the intermediary and the principal covering more than one isolated transaction. If there is no lasting relationship, the intermediary is not a trade agent but a broker; the latter is not covered by the exemption.
Provision of services in connection with securities (article 1:5a(2), under (i), of the Act)
Services provided in connection with the disbursement of dividend or the redemption or sale of securities are exempted.
Technical service providers (article 1:5a(2), under (j), of the Act)
An enterprise which solely renders services to support the provision of payment services is not regarded as a payment service provider. It is important in this respect that the (technical) service provider never has the possession of the funds concerned.
Telecommunication and information technology (article 1:5a(2), under (l), of the Act)
A specific exemption applies to enterprises which provide services for the execution of payment transactions through a telecommunication instrument, a digital instrument or an IT instrument and in respect of which the following two requirements are satisfied:
- the enterprise does more than just act as intermediary for the payment transaction, for instance because it adds value to the services or goods. A case in point is value in the form of easy access or easy location of products;
- the product paid for is supplied to and used through a telecommunication instrument, a digital instrument or an IT instrument.
A telecommunication instrument, a digital instrument or an IT instrument may be a (mobile) phone or a computer or a hybrid form, such as a smartphone or a tablet.
The exemption only applies if the product paid for is used through a phone or computer. As a result, the exemption only applies to payment for digital content. The fact is that products must be involved which are used on a computer or a phone. Both delivery and use of the products must be effected by means of a phone or a computer. Delivery and use need not necessarily take place through one and the same piece of equipment; hence, delivery by phone and use of the digital content so received through another phone or through a computer is also permitted.
Digital delivery of, for instance, a password or a code in exchange for which tangible goods or services can be obtained is not covered by the exemption. Delivery of such a password or code in exchange for which digital content can be obtained is covered by the exemption provided that the other conditions are also satisfied.
A provider of telecommunication, IT or network services which solely acts as intermediary for payments and – and, hence, does not itself provide added value – is not covered by the exemption. This is, for instance, the case if such a provider uses the instrument solely as a channel for third parties to offer goods or services, while payment is effected through the provider of the telecommunication, IT or network services. If the provider of the telephone, cable or network services does provide added value, for instance because, using an application, website or portal of its own, it offers content of third parties for sale and itself adds information or tools to facilitate searching, such a form of provision of services is covered by the exemption.
Payment instruments with limited possibilities of use (article 1:5a(2), under (k), of the Act)
Payment services in which payment is effected using a payment instrument with limited possibilities of use are exempted. The limitation may be due to the fact that it is only possible to pay on the premises of the issuing institution or that it is only possible to pay within a restricted network of service providers or for a limited range of goods or services.
A limited network is in evidence if the number of firms accepting the instrument is limited, for instance because the payment instrument can only be used within a limited area, such as a shopping centre. It is essential that the limited acceptance is inherent in the instrument; if a network starts on a small scale, but plans are to extend it over time, such a network is not covered by the exemption. Hence, the condition is that the limited size of the acceptance network is inherent in the purpose for which the payment instrument can be used.
If there are more than a couple of dozen firms which accept the payment instrument, the network is no longer regarded as being limited.
The possibilities of use of a payment instrument may also be limited because the instrument can only be used to pay for certain goods or services. An example of such a payment instruments is a fuel card. Even if, in addition to paying for fuel, the fuel card can also be used to pay for related products in the shops of petrol stations accepting such a card, it may still be regarded as having limited possibilities of use. There is a restriction, though, in that the possibility of using the card to pay for related products must concern products which are truly related; if the fuel card can also be used to pay for such products as a can of soft drink, the possibilities of use are no longer limited.
This exemption may only be relied on in the case of readily identifiable, unambiguous products or services. It is also important that the payment instrument and the payment process should be designed in such a way that it is impossible to use the instrument to pay for other goods or services.
Operation of automated teller machines (article 1:5a(2), under (o), of the Act)
A company which independently runs automated teller machines and does not provide any other payment services is exempted from the supervision of payment service providers.
 See Part 2.2.4.c. of the Act, which enters into force on 1 July 2012.