Near instantaneous money transfers, contactless payments, the ability to buy something using your watch. It's fair to say that the way we carry out financial transactions today is a world away from even 10 years ago. And, as technology transforms the way we bank, regulations are changing too.
A global financial capital, London is currently home to the European Banking Authority (EBA), which focuses on both regulation and supervision across the European banking sector, with the aim of maintaining financial stability in the European Union (EU).
The EBA has been working on the new payment services directive, or PSD2, that will become applicable next year. Among other things, the European Commission says that PSD2 will make the use of internet payment services easier and safer, and boost consumer rights.
The changes, while they may seem abstract, will have real world implications. As Accenture has put it, banks will be required to give third party providers, or TPPs, "access to a customer's online account/payment services in a regulated and secure way."
What, then, will business get out of PSD2? "It depends a little bit on who you mean," the EBA's Dirk Haubrich told CNBC.
Haubrich, who is the EBA's head of consumer protection, financial innovation and payments, listed two categories: market incumbents – primarily the banks – that he said had for a long time possessed a monopoly over the provision of payment services; and "new market challengers" that would be entering the market as a result of PSD2.
Many of these latter entities were very small, Haubrich added, and may not even know that the EBA exists or have had interaction with a regulator before. Their views were important, because PSD2 has mandated the EBA with the development of 12 technical standards and guidelines in support of the directive.
One of these mandates, which Haubrich described as "crucial", related to technical standards on security related aspects, such as strong customer authentication.
It's not just the smaller entities who will be impacted by PSD2. HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, will be affected too.
Niall Cameron, global head of corporate and institutional digital at HSBC, said that PSD2 was a "great opportunity."
With more data available, Cameron said that PSD2 could create a lot of entrepreneurship. "I can see some new business models, some new customer service models, being created for… consumers, so I think it's a great opportunity."
Cameron acknowledged that there were security concerns. "People are very concerned that the data, whilst it gets opened, doesn't create any weaknesses in the security system, and that's obviously something that we need to be particularly mindful of and particularly careful of."
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