09 October 2015


Retired Member

1,258Posts 4,280,373Views 1,521Comments

UK Faster Payments

A place to discuss and share information on the introduction of the UK Faster Payments scheme

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

16 June 2010  |  4277 views  |  1

Only last week, the consumer group Which? branded the UK’s Faster Payments scheme as unfair and confusing (BBC News, 11 June 2010). Apparently, ‘one in four credit card companies still cannot receive faster payments’ and the different transaction limits between banks appear confusing. I can’t help but think that this is a little bit unrealistic - the fact remains that Faster Payments is an optional scheme, so achieving 100 per cent take-up in only two years seems extremely ambitious. If, for instance, the industry had increased the speed of a universal scheme like Bacs then we would be looking at an entirely different scenario, achieving 100 per cent coverage on the day it went live at the cost of not being truly immediate.

The main problem here is around the education of customers – frequently, banks do not provide information before a transaction is made on whether the payee can receive a Faster Payment and rely on them to check on the website of UK Payments Administration or the Payments Council. Furthermore, some banks including Alliance & Leicester impose lower, transaction value limits than others which can result in the exclusion of regular payments such as credit card bills which typically top £1000 per month. While the Payments Council claims that over 95 per cent of accounts can accept Faster Payments, consumers still need more clarity before they make a payment on when it will arrive in order to effectively manage their finances. Unfortunately, at this stage, we are still some way off establishing common practice around providing information before making Faster Payments.

Even if the banks were able to get all their ducks in a row, there is one final issue that isn’t highlighted in this article. This involves situations where money is received by the destination company but not applied immediately to the consumer’s account. A customer of a utility provider, for example, may make a Faster Payment from their remote banking service and have confirmation that it has been received however the utility company’s processes may not credit the customer’s account immediately and in some cases days after. This happens particularly when the payment reference information – typically the customer’s account number, is damaged, incorrectly formatted or invalid. However, in many cases it is purely because the process to apply the transaction hasn't changed from when the payment was on a three-day cycle. In this case, an extra layer of unpredictability is added to what should be a simple bill payment.

Until these business processes are updated and banks provide more information to consumers prior to a transaction, consumers will still be waiting to fully benefit from one of the most innovative payment developments in the last thirty years.


Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 18 June, 2010, 13:37

From my days of being Program Director for Faster Payments at a Top 3 bank in 2007-2008, I remember a Top 3 TELCO in the UK asking the bank NOT to enable its collection account for Faster Payments from the go live date in May 2008. We were all surprised to hear that the TELCO didn't want its money earlier! While damaged payment reference information could be one reason, there was a different factor at work in this specific case: apparently, the TELCO's existing application that swept its collection account to spot receipts and credit them to respective customer accounts couldn't work in realtime. It appears that there are still many such applications around a full two years after FPS went live! 

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Latest posts from Retired

Reflections on FinovateFall: Mobile, Money and Millennials

24 September 2015  |  1012 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Interoperability: Prerequisite for Next Generation of Mobile Money

08 September 2015  |  1816 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Think More Broadly: Banks CAN Monetize Cash Transactions

31 August 2015  |  1489 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Mobile Bill Pay: NOT a Solution in Search of a Problem

20 August 2015  |  5019 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Re-imagining the Core: Bank Payments Systems

14 August 2015  |  4370 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Retired's profile

job title
member since 2014
Summary profile See full profile »

Retired's expertise

What Retired reads
Retired writes about

Who's commenting on Retired's posts

Dirk Kinvig
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Brendan Burge
Astrid Mitchell
Graham Seel
Bjorn Soland
John Candido
Gregg Weintraub
Stanley Epstein
Charmaine Oak
Roy Vella
Asenath raja