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SIMPLIFIED ACCESS TO THE UK’S PAYMENTS SYSTEMS TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD WITH THE PUBLICATION OF A NEW, CROSS-SCHEME GUIDE TO PARTICIPATION

The UK’s interbank Payments System Operators (PSOs) – Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), CHAPS, Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, Faster Payments and LINK – have today published a new guide entitled, An Introduction to the UK’s Interbank Payment Schemes.

 Available on each of the PSOs’ websites, the guide is intended for use by payments service providers (PSPs) that are considering joining, or thinking of extending more payments services to their customers.

 The document provides an overview of the UK’s payment schemes, what each one offers, and how they can be accessed by PSPs. It has been developed collaboratively by the schemes, capturing input from the Payments Strategy Forum, a number of challenger banks and FinTechs.

 This is another important step forward in the journey to open up the UK’s payments systems. This year has already seen broadening access to the schemes, with Raphaels and Metro Bank joining Faster Payments, and SocieteGenerale and Northern Trust joining CHAPS. In 2017, the interbank schemes are expecting growth in direct participation to continue to accelerate.

 Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of the Payment Systems Regulator, said: 

“Simple, clear and fair requirements will help make it easier to gain access to the UK’s Interbank Payment Systems. As the economic regulator for the £75 trillion UK payment systems industry, we welcome the work that has been undertaken to produce this guide – which should help introduce organisations to the different access options available to them in each of the payment systems.

“The guide also demonstrates progress by the PSOs in taking forward some of the work recommended by the Payments Strategy Forum. It is an encouraging first step in moving towards common terms across the different payment schemes and we look forward to the PSOs continuing to build on this during 2017.”  

Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, added: 

“Payment systems are the plumbing of the financial system – for these to work as effectively as possible, a wide variety of firms should be able to have access. That is one of the reasons we set up the Payment Systems Regulator in 2015, with its job to drive competition and help boost innovation.

 “I welcome this guide and the progress that is being made to ensure that the payment systems work for the UK’s businesses and consumers.”