The second birthday of the UK Faster Payments Service (FPS) is upon us. However, the scheme still has a few teething problems that need to be straightened out. On the one hand, consumers’ use of the service has been heralded a success. In fact, according
to the recent report from the Payments Council 'The Way We Pay 2010', individuals are making
around ten million more one-off internet and phone payments per month than before the new system was launched.
From the corporate side, on the other hand, things are moving a little slower. Barclays remains the only bank capable of offering FPS to corporate customers through Direct Corporate Access (DCA), which inevitably limits the scope of the service. A general
lack of awareness within the corporate community around the benefits of the service prevails. Barclays is in a strong position to educate their corporate customers and reap the rewards.
The lack of DCA uptake is not purely down to a lack of awareness but also availability. From the beginning, FPS DCA was available only during a limited amount of time each day. Many are not aware that as of March 2010, the Faster Payments Service extended
its Direct Corporate Access (DCA) submissions window to 3am-11pm Monday to Friday. This is a significant move as it opens up the service to a huge number of UK businesses that previously felt unable to take advantage of the scheme due to the limited time window.
It is a particularly relevant move for companies that need to make payments in a very short time period, for example, same-day loan companies.
It is clear that the future of FPS DCA is down to the banks ‘playing the game’ to ensure widespread adoption of the service. As Faster Payments turns two we will wait and see how many corporates are invited to attend the birthday party.