NPSO releases first details on New Payments Architecture
The New Payment System Operator (NPSO) has released initial details of the new procurement process for the clearing and settlement layer part of the New Payments Architecture (NPA).
The NPA is a new conceptual model for payments in the UK, aiming to cover the processing of £6.7 trillion of Bacs, Faster Payments and potentially cheque payments every year, from 2021.
It aims to simplify the rules, standards and processes that banks and others need to follow to use the systems.
Paul Horlock, chief executive of the NPSO, says: “We need a long-term strategic partner that is capable of working with us to safely deliver a scalable infrastructure which can process trillions of pounds worth of payments every year. We look forward to engaging widely to find the right one.”
The NPSO is looking for a partner “capable of implementing a scalable infrastructure for the NPA”. The capability for clearing Faster Payments will be migrated onto the NPA platform first, as described in the Payment Strategy Forum (PSF) Blueprint.
The NPSO will conduct a further consultation in 2019 on plans for the migration of payment volumes currently cleared through Bacs and potentially, subject to a suitable business case being identified, the migration in future of payments being processed using the Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques.
The new procurement exercise follows the consolidation of Faster Payments and Bacs into the NPSO, which has enabled the procurement for the successor to each of these schemes to be integrated within the NPA programme. This has widened to include clearing and settlement of potentially all of the UK’s non-card retail payments, rather than just the real-time aspect.
Specific details regarding the approach and timelines for the new procurement process will be published in a prospectus on 18 October 2018.
In other news, the NPSO recently unveiled a developer portal as it seeks a new way to improve bill payments.
Earlier this summer, it also took over the regulatory oversight for running and managing the cheque paper and cheque image clearing systems, starting 1 July 2018.