CMA approves UK payments merger decision
Written by Chris Lemmon
The Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the anticipated merger of Bacs Payment Schemes, Faster Payments Scheme and Cheque & Credit Clearing Company into a New Payments Systems Operator.
The merger aims to further develop to capability and capacity of the operators by reducing the complexity and costs of having three separate organisations. This single entity would also become responsible for taking forward the next stage of the development of the New Payments Architecture, an industry-led initiative that aims to increase competition and resilience as well as enhance innovation across the payments and banking industry.
Hannah Nixon, managing director of the Payments Systems Regulator, said: “Today’s announcement is very welcome news. It was the work of the Payments Strategy Forum, set up by the PSR, which identified the opportunity presented by the consolidation of the three operators.
“The CMA’s timely decision is a key milestone to ensure delivery of the New Payments Systems Operator by the end of 2017. The consolidation should support one of the PSR’s key requirements to support increased choice of access and to develop common participation models and rules. This should make it easier for banks, FinTechs, and other payment service providers to enter the market and compete effectively.
“The consolidation is also an important first step towards a generational change in UK payments. It can help facilitate the safe and secure transition to, and management of, a New Payments Architecture, which we believe could deliver more dynamic competition and innovation in payments. Consumers will also benefit from new entrants coming into the market and offering users of payment services new, innovative products.”