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UK retail payments industry helps govt deliver Covid-19 support

UK retail payments industry helps govt deliver Covid-19 support

The UK's retail payments industry has set up a taskforce to help the government in delivering the millions of extra payments it is making during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pay.UK says it is working to ensure the additional payments needed as a consequence of Covid-19 from Universal Credit accounts, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are delivered safely, at scale and to the right people.

Pay.UK, its technology partner Vocalink, industry trade body UK Finance and a cross section of UK banks, came together to create a ‘Retail Payments Taskforce’ to act as a knowledge resource for central government.

Key activities of the taskforce have included "advising on the different payment options available and recognising the need to move at pace in the most effective way to safely and securely distribute a huge volume of payments to the right people in a concentrated period," says a statement.

The taskforce has also been working with HMRC to ensure that necessary ‘Payment overlay services’ were incorporated into the system architecture of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Thanks to NatWest and its partner SurePay, they managed to include elements of the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) name checker service and the Mule Insights Tactical Solution (MITS) mule account identifier.

Stephen Jones, CEO, UK Finance, says: "The payments industry is committed to helping the country through these difficult times, ensuring that all customers can continue to pay safely and in the way that best suits their needs. With many businesses and people relying on extra financial support during this period, the industry has worked together to provide its expertise to Government so it can make payments quickly and securely.”

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