Easier access to payments services, the need for a KYC utility and the inevitability of account number portability are among the key themes to emerge from a Finextra survey into the evolving UK payments landscape.
The study - sponsored by VocaLink - sought to gauge opinion on areas that the new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) will have within its remit from April 2015, including existing UK Faster Payments access arrangements, and measures that have and could be taken to improve competitiveness in the retail banking sector.
The survey - conducted between July and August - received 117 responses from across the UK, representing 72 different financial groups. Respondents acknowledged cost and ease of access as key constraints to the growth of faster payments, incomplete awareness of the implications of looming new EU regulations under the Payment Systems Directive, and a strong appetite for the development of a shared KYC database.
While there seemed to be a general acceptance that the new regulator would look to boost competitiveness further through the introduction of full account number portability, a third of respondents felt that the costs would outweigh the benefits of such a move.
On the issue of streamlining access to the Faster Payments Service, Chris Dunne, payments services director, VocaLink, says: "This is a critical area of focus for us and we are working hard to provide the market with a service that allows technical connection to FPS and other payment infrastructures at a fraction of the current cost. However the technical aspects are only part of the challenge - the access criteria, rules, and settlement arrangements are all essential aspects that need to be improved."
The full survey results and report can be downloaded here