Faster Payments: Interest sought in major infrastructure competition

  • Expression of Interest phase: the first of a three phase competition to renew and manage the Faster Payments infrastructure for up to 10 years.
  • Bidders will need to demonstrate commitment to excellence in payments processing.
  • Renewal will migrate the Faster Payments Service to be the ISO20022, 24/7, real-time component of the UK’s New Payments Architecture.

Faster Payments Scheme Ltd is seeking Expressions of Interest for the renewal and management of its infrastructure – the services that enable the UK’s 24/7 real-time payment service to function consistently and securely.

The competition is set to drive innovation and ensure that the Faster Payments Service continues to meet the needs of participants – both old and new – achieving the objectives set out by the Payment Systems Regulator Remedies Decision, following their market review into the ownership and competitiveness of central payment systems infrastructure provision.

The renewal is set to make it easier to join the Faster Payments Service and improve operational efficiency and further minimise the risk of cyber-attacks. It is an important step in readying the Faster Payments Service for the transition to the New Payments Architecture.

Bidders will be required to demonstrate the commitment to excellence in payments processing necessary in order to maintain over a billion secure, immediate payments a year (which are also growing by 10-15% year on year).

Those qualifying following the Expression of Interest will be invited to participate in a Request for Information phase, and subsequently invited to submit a full proposal. The winning bidder is expected to be selected in Q3 2018.

Details on the phases of the competition and more information can be found here. All Expressions of Interest should be returned by the date specified, to the email CIP@fasterpayments.org.uk.

Craig Tillotson, Chief Executive of Faster Payments, said: “This competitive tender process will help ensure the integrity of the Faster Payments Service in the vital role it plays in the UK economy for years to come, supporting our objective to meet the long term needs and aspirations of our customers. It’s also an important milestone on the road towards the New Payments Architecture set to be delivered by the New Payment Systems Operator”.

Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL) is the company that enables mobile, internet, telephone and standing order payments to move quickly and securely, almost at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day.

Seventeen banks and building societies are Participants of the scheme, and over 400 other financial institutions are able to offer the service, making Faster Payments available to more than 52 million current account holders in the UK.

In August 2017, Faster Payments processed 135.8 million payments amounting to a total of £116 billion for the month. This was a 10% increase in the number payments and a 15% increase in total value on those processed in August 2016.

 

The Payment Systems Regulator published PSR MR15/2.5  Market review into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision: remedies decision on 20 June 2017. It is available to download here.

Faster Payments is the only UK payment system available day and night, 365 days per year, supporting the demands of personal and business customers. In 2016, Faster Payments processed 1.43 billion payment transactions with a value of £1,189 billion.

The Faster Payments Scheme has 17 Direct Settling Participants: Barclays, Citi, Clearbank, Co-operative Bank, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, HSBC (including first direct and M&S Bank), Lloyds Banking Group (including Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland), Metro, Monzo, Nationwide Building Society, Metro Bank, Northern Bank (Danske Bank), Raphaels Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank), Santander UK, TSB and Turkish Bank UK Ltd. PayPal connect to Faster Payments on a Direct Agency basis, whilst a further 400 PSPs access the service indirectly through a sponsor bank.

Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL) is an independent limited by guarantee company established in 2011. The Scheme exists to develop, operate and enhance payment services based upon a shared 24/7 real-time infrastructure. FPSL is driven by the long-term needs and aspirations of customers, businesses, government, the third sector and all types of PSPs including challengers and incumbents. The Scheme operates on a fair and equitable cost recovery basis. It does not seek to make a financial return for its guarantors. www.fasterpayments.org.uk