The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator Limited (PSR), an economic regulator for the £75 trillion payment systems industry in the country, has opened the proverbial door to a more competitive atmosphere for third party technology looking to provide national payments infrastructure projects.
The impetus behind the move is the need for more competition and complementary means to traditional bank-controlled monopolies such as Bacs, Faster Payments Service and the Link interchange network.
By facilitating third party groups, PSR hopes to help shore up concerns in the market, i.e. common ownership and control of both the payment systems and the infrastructure provider. Furthermore, a PSR found in a recent market review also found that there existed a desire to adopt a common international messaging standard to stimulate new entrants, something that has not come to fruition to date.
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Emphasis on Competition
In shaking up the status quo for the provision of payment services in the UK, the PSR is looking to support a competitive procurement process, ultimately helping support new infrastructure providers with different technology to enter the market.
The PSR views these changes as a “generational step” towards a wide encompassing change in the UK’s payments system. Furthermore, the latest PSR proposals coincide with the work of the Payments Strategy Forum, having just analyzed a new broad-based strategy or the country’s domestic issues.
For its part, the PSR expects that the industry soon enter in a phase that will see the gradual preparation for several procurement actions.
According to Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of the PSR, in a recent statement on the new strategy: “The remedies we are putting forward today are another step in our strategy to bring about a once in a generation change to UK payments. This will promote more effective competition and innovation that will help better meet the needs of all users of payment systems – be they consumers, small businesses, or banks.”