New Payment System Operator takes on responsibility for UK payment architecture

Source: New Payment System Operator

The blueprint for the future development of the UK’s shared payment infrastructure was today (11 December 2017) passed to the New Payment System Operator (NPSO), the company that will become the new, single, integrated retail payment system operator for the UK.

The New Payments Architecture (NPA) is a completely new conceptual model for the end-to-end retail payment delivery carried out by the UK’s payment schemes and market participants. It will be the biggest change to the way payments are processed in the UK since the 1960s, ensuring payments are safe whilst also encouraging competitive innovation and unlocking new business opportunities in everything from smarter uses of banking and payment data, through to new transactional services.

The NPSO has taken on responsibility for the NPA Blueprint in line with its objectives to simplify access and drive competition for payments in the UK. The NPA Blueprint was set out today as the culmination of two years’ work and consultation by the Payment Strategy Forum, the body set up by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to bring the payments industry and users together.

Paul Horlock, CEO of the New Payment System Operator, said: “We are grateful for the excellent work that has been undertaken so far and all of the people who took the time to respond to the PSF’s consultation on the strategy for payments in the 21st Century. We are excited to have the opportunity to now evaluate and enhance the work done as we transition from consultation to implementation.

“The NPA Blueprint will drive accessibility, competition and innovation through developments such as a common message standard to support interoperability. We will also be looking to capitalise on the opportunities and challenges presented through PSD2, RTGS, GDPR and Open Banking, to help shape the building blocks for the New Payments Architecture.”

The NPSO is now in the process of assessing the Blueprint to define the technical requirements for the NPA, determine whether further investigatory work is needed for specific elements and validate the best approach to move forwards with delivery.

Paul Horlock continues: “The New Payments Architecture will build on the recent launch of the Image Clearing System for cheques, the re-procurement of new central infrastructure for Faster Payments and the work happening in Bacs to gather the requirements needed for their products as part of the new architecture.

“The NPA Blueprint will play a crucial part in the development of NPSO and we look forward to engaging with our new independent end-user and payment service participant Advisory Councils, as the work develops in 2018. These new councils will ensure the needs of consumers, business and other payment users are formally placed alongside those of industry at the heart of developments in the UK’s payment services.”

The NPSO will lead the delivery of the integrated programme alongside the thought leadership and communications needed to make the blueprint a reality.  

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