NPSO launches Request to Pay portal
Written by Peter Walker
Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and billers have being invited to register and play their part in developing ‘Request to Pay’ – a new way to improve the control, flexibility and transparency of bill payments.
The portal has been launched by the New Payment System Operator (NPSO), which is responsible for setting the standards and rules in retail payments. 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 application programming interface (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 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 early next year, to enable interested participants to prepare their own competitive launches from spring 2019 onwards.
NPSO chief executive Paul Horlock said he expects 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.”