Yeah the SE account system is required for XI. No payment or registration information is handled through POL at all.
Honestly, the PC version of POL could be dropped down to a single login screen at this point.
____________________________FFXI: Catwho on Bismarck. Screw endgame. Let's do Assaults! Captain Rank 11-4-2013
FFXIV: Taprara Rara on Balmung || Ornlona Wistuwyn on Ultros || Katarh Mest on Lamia
The official SE FFXIV forums are the Mos Eisley of the Internet.