In July 2016, Payments Strategy Forum (Forum) released its draft strategy and consultation paper – “Being responsive to user needs”.  The intention of the consultation was to capture the views of end-users of payment services so to create simpler access to the UK payment systems, enhance its innovation and adaptability and produce a stronger sense of security for the end-user.

On 14 September 2016 Payments UK issued its response to the consultation. Representing a collective view of its membership, as well as experts within the trade association in the UK payments industry, its main comments were: 

  • To support the Forum’s objective in enhancing innovation and competition in order to produce better outcomes for end-users, as well as to agree to its proposal to consolidate the interbank system;
  • To recognise that the Simplified Payments Platform does have potential to deliver benefits to end-users but that further research needs to be carried out to assess the benefits and costs. In addition, whilst a common international message standard for the UK may be beneficial, namely ISO 20022, it must be supported by a robust benefits case; and
  • To emphasise it is in agreement to put end-users (such as consumers, SMEs, large corporates, charities, government) at the foundation of future development but that the proposals and benefits need to be assessed side by side in order to determine the importance and pass on the benefits to the consumer quicker.

On 15 September 2016 Faster Payments published its response to the Forum’s consultation by letter format and questionnaire. The former provides a high level view of the overall strategy along with commentary on the proposed solutions. The questionnaire provides feedback on the specific questions posed within the consultation.

What this means for you

The Forum’s consultation is now closed. The Forum intends to issue its Final Strategy in November 2016 where it is likely to outline the steps and impacts on payment server providers in more detail.

Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of Payment Systems Regulator (who created the Forum) has commented that there will be a focus on:

looking at which elements of the strategy implementation could be led by existing organisations and exploring the need for a multi-stakeholder body like the Forum to work alongside the regulator to link all the different aspects of the implementation work.”