Faster Payments launches Trust Service to make access to UK’s payments systems more cost-effective

Faster Payments, the UK’s 24/7 real-time payment service, has launched a new Trust Service that will potentially cut the cost for challenger banks and others of obtaining the services that are essential to securely access the UK’s payments systems.

In order to be able to access customer-sensitive data needed to use Faster Payments, participants need to have the use of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Trust Service, which manages the digital certificates that are essential to keep customer information secure. Faster Payments created the service after it determined that the costs of the existing solutions created a barrier for some new entrants looking to join Faster Payments.

The new service, provided by UTSP Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Faster Payments Scheme, has been built to industry standards and approved so that it can be trusted by all existing Scheme participants. Credentials issued by Faster Payments can also be used to support access to Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), the organisation behind Direct Debit in the UK.

Since the service launched in early May, four organisations are already using it – three are Faster Payments participants and three are also using the Trust Service to support Bacs membership. A further four new organisations are expected to become users of the Trust Service before the end of the year.

Independent research commissioned by Faster Payments predicts the size of the UK real-time payments market is likely to almost treble in the next few years, with annualised growth of 20% forecast, leading to 3.3 billion Faster Payments being sent in 2020 alone. The new Trust Service underlines Faster Payments’ commitment to level the playing field for access, promote competition and ensure the full, real-time 24/7 service is available as widely as possible to end users.

Craig Tillotson, Chief Executive of Faster Payments, said: “The launch of our new, world-class Trust Service is a big step forward for the industry. Having learned from our service users that existing solutions did not meet their needs, we set about building the new Trust Service to make access to both Faster Payments and Bacs easier and more cost-effective. I am pleased to report that we have succeeded in doing just that and the new service is up and running and being used by Participants already.”

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 14 direct settling participants: Barclays, Citi, Co-operative Bank, ClearBank, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, HSBC (including first direct and M&S Bank), Lloyds Banking Group (including Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland), Nationwide Building Society, Metro Bank, Northern Bank (Danske Bank), Raphaels Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank), Starling Bank and Santander UK. 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.