UK banks on track for November introduction of faster payments system

Source: Apacs

To coincide with today’s publication of the OFT’s final Payment Systems Task Force Report, the UK banking industry today confirms that they are on track to introduce the new faster payments system, agreed with the Task Force, by November 2007.

They also announced that there are thirteen founding members* of the new system.

This system will put the UK up with the frontrunners of similar systems around the world. UK customers choosing to make a faster online or phone payment will be making it in near real-time - which means the payment will complete end-to-end within a couple of hours. It will also enable standing order payments to move more quickly.

There are thirteen founding members;however, other financial institutions will be able to join or access the system for their customers through agency arrangements with a founding member. Although the central system will be ready in November 2007 it will be up to each bank or building society to decide how and when it delivers a full service to all its personal and corporate customers.

Paul Smee, Chief Executive of APACS said: "Building a new payments system of this scale is a mammoth task: this is a multi-million pound project to deliver a state-of-the-art system that will speed up phone, online and standing order payments. Central testing of the new infrastructure has already started and although in its early stages, is going well. In saying that, meeting our November target is still enormously challenging because all thirteen members have to link to the system and carry out further tests to ensure the new system will be safe, efficient and robust.

"This service will be great for any customer wanting to move money quickly - perhaps to pay a bill or move money between accounts. Like the internet, it will be available all day, and will move a payment within a few hours and on any day of the week."

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