Merger of three UK payment systems will be "substantially completed" this year, says Payment System Operator Delivery Group

Out-Law News | 08 May 2017 | 10:15 am | 1 min. read

Work to merge three UK payment systems under one body will be "substantially completed" this year, the Payment Systems Regulator has said.

A move to consolidate Bacs Payment Schemes, Faster Payment Service, and Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) under a single operating body was initiated last year. A cross-industry forum, tasked by the PSR with producing a strategy to help "unlock competition and innovation in payments", recommended consolidation of the payment systems in a report last year.

Since then, a special 'delivery group' has been established to help set up the new payment system operator (PSO) that will run the payment systems. The Payment System Operator Delivery Group has now set out its delivery plan (107-page / 3.07MB PDF).

The plan sets out the delivery group's recommendations regarding how implementation of the new PSO should be funded, its culture and values, as well governance issues such as structure and principles the new operator's Board should adopt.

Robert Stansbury, independent chair of the Payment System Operator Delivery Group, said: "We have made significant headway towards redefining the way in which the three PSOs will operate in the future. A single consolidated PSO would simplify access to, and the governance of, payment systems, helping to drive innovation and competition across the UK industry."

"But while good progress has been made, support from across the industry is vital and significant collaborative work still needs to be done if the plan is to be delivered successfully and the benefits of the consolidation unlocked," he said.

Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PSR, said: "The consolidation would be 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."