UK’s PSR seeks input on New Payments Architecture competition issues
UK payments watchdog the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has issued a call for input on potential competition issues that could appear with the introduction of the New Payments Architecture (NPA).
A conceptual model for the future development of the UK’s retail payments infrastructure, the NPA has been called the biggest change the UK transaction processing for 60 years.
A core clearing and settlement layer, which will process more than £6.7 trillion worth of payments every year, is forecast for implementation after 2021.
The PSR calls the NPA a “once in a generation change to the very fabric of the UK’s interbank payments systems”.
It plans to publish a policy statement to explain what bidders, participants and other users can expect from the regulator as the NPA becomes a reality, expected before the end of 2020.
Now the regulator is inviting all interested parties to respond to its request for input on the likelihood of competition issues arising from the implementation of the NPA and how harmful or significant they could prove to be.
The call for input is open until 24 March 2020.
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“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,” says Chris Hemsley, managing director of the PSR.
“Pay.UK continues to make progress in its role to deliver this infrastructure renewal. 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.”
According to a report from the PSR, released in July 2019, access to payment systems in the UK is continuing to improve.
The fourth annual Access and Governance Report from the regulator reported that 12 organisations joined Faster Payment Scheme (FPS), Bacs and CHAPS in 2018, a record number.