Payments industry ‘on brink of tipping point’

The pace of change in the payments industry means 2017 may be the year that changes for good the ways that both consumers and businesses make payments, according to a report published by trade association Payments UK.

Entitled ‘The Changing Payments Landscape: How 2017 will change the way we pay for good’, the report examines trends over the past decade and the factors driving change today.

The report outlines the influence of regulatory and legislative developments. These range from the UK industry’s strategy-setting body, the Payments Strategy Forum (PSF) – established in 2015 and overseen by the Bank of England (BoE) and UK financial regulators the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) – to consolidation of payment scheme operators including Banks’ Automated Clearing Services (Bacs) and Faster Payments initiatives.

The report assesses how they are influencing developments such as open banking, confirmation of payee (CoP) and important behind-the-scenes activities like the development of new standards.

“I have worked in the payments industry for more than 30 years, and it seems to me that we will look back on 2016 and 2017 as the time when foundations were laid that changed the ways we pay for good, commented Maurice Cleaves, chief executive officer (CEO) of Payments UK.

“Whether it’s the proposals for a new ‘confirmation of payee’ safeguard that could stop money going to the wrong account, a ‘request to pay’ service that gives more control and flexibility for paying bills, or ‘enhanced data’ that can help payments be more easily reconciled – we are on the verge of a whole range of new services that will benefit many different types of customers.

“In parallel, [the European Union’s] Payments Services Directive II (PSD2) could create entirely new types of payment companies and services, the Bank of England is creating a blueprint for a new real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system and the delivery of an application programming interface (API) open Banking standard will enable customers to use trusted third parties and pan-industry services to make smarter payment decisions based on their particular needs.

“With so much change on the horizon, there is now a great opportunity to continue to deliver world class payments across the board. The industry’s collaborative know-how will be tested like never before, but with customers remaining as the industry’s key focus I’m confident great outcomes will be achieved.”

Payments UK launched as a trade association in June 2015 to bring members and wider stakeholders together to “make the UK’s payment services better for customers and to ensure UK payment services remain world-class.”

698 views

Related reading

Nao the Robot