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The future of retail payments in the UK

Paul Horlock, Paul HorlockPosted on 11 May 2018

On 1 May 2018 operational responsibility for the Bacs and Faster Payments systems transferred to the New Payment System Operator (NPSO). This transfer occurred simultaneously with the Bacs and Faster Payments schemes becoming subsidiary companies of the NPSO.

The move ensures the continuity of operations of the UK’s main payment systems, which are relied on every day for thousands of salaries, benefits, bills, mortgage and other internet and mobile banking payments. Users of these payment systems do not have to do anything differently, as all payments are being processed as usual.

The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC), which manages the paper processing system for cheques and incorporates  the recently-launched  Image Clearing System (ICS), is also due to join the NPSO in the coming months along with UK Payments Administration Limited (UKPA), the company that provides people, facilities and business services to the payment ecosystem.

Bringing the retail payment systems together is a key step in establishing a single voice for retail payments in the NPSO. It will reduce complexity and provide a platform for future competition and innovation.

Bacs and Faster Payments have developed a huge amount of trust in payments through the certainty, integrity and security inherent in their systems. The NPSO will maintain that stability and security whilst ensuring the continued relevance and competitiveness of the services we provide.

We move more than £6.3 trillion every year, through Bacs Direct Credit, Direct Debit, Faster Payments and Paym. We are also responsible for the future of payments through our plans to enable delivery of the New Payments Architecture (NPA) - a completely new conceptual model for the UK’s payments infrastructure and standards. The NPA is intended to keep payments safe and secure while also triggering a revolution of competitive innovation by enabling smart ways to use banking and payment data, and overlay new payment services.

This is our opportunity to create the future of retail payments in the UK, driving value for people and businesses, and enabling a vibrant UK economy. We will act as a catalyst for change, promoting competition by supporting new entrants. We will be the leading payments authority that will create a best-in-class payment infrastructure and standards in the UK for the benefit of people everywhere.