Payments UK published its latest report in the World Class Payments series on 17 June 2016. The report focuses on the need to improve access arrangements to UK payment systems for payment service providers. The report gives an overview of the current situation in the UK and highlights work already undertaken to develop open access, along with the challenges associated with bringing about change.

The report picks out four main issues that need addressing in the UK:

  • industry agreed road map and backing
  • detailed and fully supported transition plan
  • agreement on the funding model required to bring about change
  • the need for a wide range of industry players across the full industry spectrum to work together to achieve change.

What this means for you

New and existing users of payment systems in the UK have highlighted Open Access as critical in the support of healthy competition and innovation within the industry. Payments UK envisages that improvements to the current system would boost competition. The Payment Systems Regulator is in the process of conducting a market review which focuses on indirect access. It will also consider whether competition is working well for those who use payment systems. In addition, the Regulator is carrying out a market review into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision. The industry can expect big changes with the strategy setting body, The Payment Strategy Forum, examining whether payment systems can be developed to simplify access, ensure a common messaging standard and centralise functions to prevent financial crime and reduce the cost of compliance.