Initial details of a new procurement process for the clearing and settlement layer that will form the backbone of the New Payments Architecture (NPA) have been announced today, (Monday 24 September 2018) by the New Payment System Operator (NPSO).
The NPA is a new conceptual model for payments in the UK, which will take over the processing of more than £6.7 trillion of Bacs, Faster Payments and potentially cheque payments every year, from 2021. Bringing them together will catalyse innovation – meaning better payment services for everyone – by simplifying the rules, standards and processes that banks and others need to follow to use the systems.
The NPSO is seeking to appoint a strategic partner – whether a single supplier or consortium – which is capable of implementing a scalable, world-class infrastructure for the NPA. The capability for clearing Faster Payments will be migrated onto the NPA platform first, as described in the Payment Strategy Forum (PSF) Blueprint1.
The NPSO will conduct a further consultation in 2019 on plans for the migration of payment volumes currently cleared through Bacs and potentially, subject to a suitable business case being identified, the migration in future of payments being processed using the Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques.
Paul Horlock, Chief Executive of the New Payment System Operator, said:
“The New Payments Architecture project represents a massive opportunity for suppliers to be involved in delivering the future of payments in the UK.
“We need a long-term strategic partner that is capable of working with us to safely deliver a scalable infrastructure which can process trillions of pounds worth of payments every year. We look forward to engaging widely to find the right one.”
The new procurement exercise follows the consolidation of Faster Payments and Bacs into the NPSO, which has enabled the procurement for the successor to each of these schemes to be integrated inside the NPA programme. This has widened and enhanced the scope of requirements to include clearing and settlement of potentially all of the UK’s non-card retail payments, rather than just the real-time aspect.
Specific details regarding the approach and timelines for the new procurement process will be published in a prospectus on Thursday 18 October. The prospectus will be made available at an NPSO Stakeholder Briefing event being held on that day, and simultaneously published on the NPSO website.