Draft documentation and API sandbox launched to develop new way to manage bills
Payment Service Providers and billers are today (Thursday 6 September 2018) being invited to register to play their part in developing ‘Request to Pay’ – a new way to improve the control, flexibility and transparency of bill payments.
The Request to Pay portal – www.requesttopay.co.uk – has been launched by the New Payment System Operator (NPSO), the UK’s leading retail payment authority, which has responsibility to develop best in class payment infrastructure and standards for the benefit of everybody.
The NPSO is responsible for setting the standards and rules in retail payments and the Request to Pay service is an innovation which will be ready for the market to competitively launch from next year. It is expected to be a secure messaging service for payments – almost akin to email – overlaid on top of existing infrastructure. For each ‘request’, customers will be able to pay in full, pay in part, ask for more time, communicate with the biller, or decline the payment – giving more control to the person being asked to pay. Payers can expect to have a choice of payment methods, or be able to automatically trigger a payment as part of their acceptance of a request.
Potential participants are being invited to review the draft specifications and provide feedback using an API sandbox for the ‘message repositories’ which will play a role in storing, sending and receiving messages, and the ‘end-user applications’ which will make it possible for consumers and businesses to communicate with repositories. Using API (‘application programming interface’) technology as a secure way of sharing data, the proposition is for the Request to Pay service to be underpinned by a single central directory, which will enable registration of participants and identification of the services they provide.
All potential participants’ initial feedback will be used to help inform the draft technical specifications, which are currently provided for illustrative purposes. Two further iterations of documentation are planned to be published on the portal during 2018, as the specifications are further refined. The final versions will be published in early 2019, to enable interested participants to prepare their own competitive launches from spring 2019 onwards.
Paul Horlock, CEO of the New Payment System Operator, said:
“We expect Request to Pay to support individuals with their financial decision-making, create a better channel for direct dialogue between payers and billers, and help more people and businesses avoid the cliff edges that can be created by an irregular income, or an unexpected or unpaid bill.
“By setting the standards and rules needed to make Request to Pay work, the NPSO will act as a market catalyst, encouraging developers to spot innovative new uses for Request to Pay which could benefit a wide range of sectors – from utilities to financial services, government, charities and beyond.”
The development of the Request to Pay service is one of the end user deliverables being overseen by the NPSO as part of its role in creating a New Payments Architecture (NPA). Any stakeholders that are interested in finding out more about the NPA, and how Request to Pay fits with the wider project, should visit the NPSO website: newpso.uk/npa-programme