Making Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) available to businesses and consumers for ‘non-sweeping’ customer payments, NatWest has become the industry’s first firm to go beyond the requirement to offer VRPs for account sweeping.
Over the past month, a number of fintechs and banks have announced their progress or achievement toward delivering VRP transactions in the UK. GoCardless won its first VRP customer earlier in May, while The Credit Thing delivered the first live consumer VRP transaction in the UK soon after.
The Competition and Markets Authority mandates that the UK’s nine largest banks must support the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person, referred to as ‘sweeping’.
NatWest announced its plans to roll out VRPs for non-sweeping use cases on the 4th of May, adding that it had signed agreements with three payment providers to do so, including TrueLayer, GoCardless and Crezco.
The first payments were made by NatWest customers to Charity Right and Pink Chilli, the former an international charity combating hunger, and the latter a property-focused technology firm. The payments were supported by Charity Right’s integration with GoCardless and by Pink Chilli’s integration with TrueLayer.
The move allows payment providers to give businesses a new option for managing customer payments for services including utility bills, subscriptions and charitable donations. Additionally, VRP operates via the Faster Payments service, meaning payments can be received in near-real time.
On the announcement, Daniel Globerson, head of bank of APIs at NatWest Group, commented: “As a relationship bank for a digital world, we’re committed to offering innovative and convenient payment methods to businesses and consumers. We’re delighted that our customers are now experiencing the benefits of VRP, and we’re proud to see organisations such as Charity Right using VRP to manage charitable donations.”
Jana Reid, senior product partnership manager, TrueLayer, stated: "This is another significant day for the UK payments industry and made ‘account on file’ a reality. We’re proud to be leading the industry with NatWest who have gone beyond the regulatory requirements for VRP and, as a result, enabled us to collaborate with clients across a broad range of use cases.”