Every time anyone uses a cash machine, transfers money, uses contactless, or gets paid, they use a payment system. Payment systems are always evolving and the PSR is here to make sure they work well for everyone.

In a fast-moving environment, we challenge the industry to adapt by supporting innovation and improving competition, so that the UK benefits from world-leading payment systems.

We encourage collaboration to help solve problems and, when we need to, we take difficult decisions and use our powers. We change our approach to get the best outcome for everyone.

Our objectives

Our statutory objectives underpin everything we do. In summary these are:

  • to ensure that payment systems are operated and developed in a way that considers and promotes the interests of all the businesses and consumers that use them
  • to promote effective competition in the markets for payment systems and services - between operators, PSPs and infrastructure providers
  • to promote the development of and innovation in payment systems, in particular the infrastructure used to operate those systems

Our vision

Payment systems are accessible, reliable, secure and value for money.

Our approach will bring change to the payments industry, injecting competition and innovation where it is needed most and putting the interests of the people and businesses that use payment systems front and centre.

The PSR talks to

  • payment system operators (cards and interbank)
  • payment service providers, including banks and building societies
  • infrastructure providers
  • businesses that rely on these systems

To ensure we have the best insight and information available we also work with:

  • industry bodies
  • consumer groups

Our approach is collaborative but where evidence shows the payment systems industry is failing to deliver greater competition, more innovation and greater benefits for businesses or consumers, then we won’t hesitate to apply our powers.

PSR powers

The PSR has a range of strong regulatory and competition powers. We can:

  • give directions to take action and set standards
  • impose requirements regarding system rules
  • require operators to provide direct access to payment systems
  • require PSPs to provide indirect access to smaller PSPs
  • amend agreements relating to payment systems, including fees and charges
  • investigate behaviour which isn’t consistent with our directions
  • act where we see anti-competitive behaviour, alongside the Competition & Markets Authority

The PSR is

  • independent, with its own managing director and board
  • charged with strong competition and regulatory powers
  • funded by the industry
  • accountable to Parliament
  • an independent subsidiary of the Financial Conduct Authority

Our policies and regulations

You can see how we are going to work with and regulate the payment systems industry in our Policy Statement, A new regulatory framework for payment systems in the UK.

This sets out how we intend to deliver a competitive and innovative payment systems industry for the benefit of all those that use them.

Find out more about the PSR approach to implementing requirements in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023.