Raphaels Bank is to begin offering Faster Payments services to UK fintech companies as it becomes the first new bank to connect directly to the scheme since its inception in 2008.
The 230-year old bank is the 12th direct participant of the Faster Payments Scheme, which is creating new access arrangements to open up the system to smaller banks and non-bank competitors. Raphaels says it will use its participation to act as a sponsor - enabling other payment service providers (PSPs) to access real-time payments via its connection.
Customers of currency transfer startup TransferWise are the first-end users to benefit from Raphaels’ Faster Payments capability, with the first TransferWise payments being processed this month.
Craig Tillotson, chief executive of Faster Payments, describes the onboarding of Raphaels Bank as "great news" for payments sector more widely.
“Raphaels is the first new joiner of many," he says. "Their membership underlines the revolutionary contribution our New Access Model is starting to make by enabling payment service providers of all shapes and sizes to offer their customers the real-time, 24/7 payments they demand.”
Three more PSPs, including challenger bank startup Starling Bank, are on course to join before the end of 2016, while five technology vendor have been awarded the ‘trust mark’ certificate required to act as a technical aggregators and provide direct technical access to Faster Payments.
Tillotson says independent research commissioned by Faster Payments predicts the size of the UK real-time payments market is likely to almost treble in the next five years, with annualised growth of 20% forecast, leading to 3.3 billion Faster Payments being sent by 2020.