The Credit Thing launches first consumer VRP

FinTech The Credit Thing has partnered with TrueLayer to launch the first Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) for consumers in the UK.

TrueLayer, an Open Banking platform, and The Credit Thing have worked together to implement a recurring payments API, which successfully processed the first consumer VRP transaction through HSBC.

The Competition and Markets Authority has mandated the UK’s nine largest banks (CMA9) to provide VRPs that support the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person, known as ‘sweeping’.

TrueLayer offers a single API that uses Open Banking to enable businesses to connect to select UK banks, including HSBC, to take recurring payments as a replacement for direct debit and card-on-file payments.

The Credit Thing helps UK consumers who struggle to access incumbent financial services due to thin credit histories.

The company uses Open Banking to securely link bank accounts during the application process, enabling consumers whose credit histories look thin or non-existent to prove their creditworthiness.

The Credit Thing is an existing TrueLayer customer for standalone consumer payments powered by Open Banking, and is now using VRP via TrueLayer’s API to provide an improved experience for consumer repayments, the companies said in a statement.

TrueLayer said that recurring payments, which can be processed in seconds, could in time replace direct debits, which can take days to process.

VRP or ‘sweeping’ also means that consumers also have more control, with a single payment approval that removes the need to re-authenticate or re-authorise transactions, through a payment consent that is tied to a bank account and doesn’t expire until it’s revoked by them.

Colin Hollingsbee, CIO for The Credit Thing, said: “Could this be the beginning of the end for Direct Debits? VRP is a real game changer. We pride ourselves on providing great experiences and being at the cutting edge. That’s why we’re excited to be the first in the industry to do this with TrueLayer, reinforcing our philosophy to deliver on innovation.

“This isn’t innovation for the sake of it. It delivers meaningful benefits - consumers are firmly in control, the service is secure and user friendly, the cost of service is ultra competitive, and regular payment approval rates are likely to be phenomenal.”

TrueLayer launched its first recurring payments API for both sweeping and sweeping in early May.

NatWest Group recently signed an agreement with TrueLayer to provide VRPs as a new payment option for businesses and consumers.

Matt Parish, product lead for VRP at TrueLayer, said: “This is a significant day for the UK payments industry - the first business using variable recurring payments to deliver a better consumer experience.

“TrueLayer’s first-of-its-kind API brings the transparency, speed and control of VRP to more people in the UK as a replacement for direct debit and card-on-file payments. We’re delighted to be working with an innovator like The Credit Thing who has seen the massive potential of VRP to support its business.”

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