PSR seeks view on New Payments Architecture

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has launched a consultation for view on the competition issues that could emerge in the UK’s New Payments Architecture (NPA).

The NPA is the UK payments industry’s proposed new way of organising the clearing and settlement of payments between banks, known as interbank payments. 

Such interbank payments can be used to paying employee wages, or transferring money to a friend using internet banking.

The PSR said the NPA represented a “once in a generation change to the very fabric of the UK’s interbank payment systems”, adding that the regime will facilitate the development of services that make transactions safer and give everyone more control over who, when and how they pay.

The PSR wants to see the NPA delivered in a way that boosts competition between existing and new payments services, as well as enhancing resilience and security in payments.  

The regulator is inviting all interested parties to respond to a call for input to gather feedback on the likelihood of competition issues materialising in the NPA and how harmful or significant they could prove to be. This is open until 24 March.

The overall aim is to provide greater clarity and more detail on the PSR’s expectations, concerns and regulatory approach. Ultimately, the PSR will publish a policy statement by the end of 2020 to explain what bidders, participants and other users can expect from the regulator as the NPA becomes a reality.

Chris Hemsley, managing director of the PSR, said: “The renewal of the UK’s interbank payments infrastructure, through the NPA, has the potential to deliver innovative new services and products for businesses and consumers.

“Pay.UK continues to make progress in its role to deliver this infrastructure renewal,” he continued. “Today’s publication supports that process, by inviting views on what might prevent the benefits that competition can bring, and the steps that all parties - including the PSR - can take to ensure that people and businesses feel the full benefits of this important investment in our payments infrastructure.”

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