• PSR sets out plans for 2022/23 to go further in making sure payment systems are fit for the future – offering access, protection and choice for everyone that uses them.

  • Regulator aims to increase competition between different payment systems, including by unlocking the potential of account-to-account payments.

  • Work in 2022/23 will build on last year’s achievements and see the PSR take further steps to protect people from APP fraud.

Today, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its Annual Plan for 2022/23.

Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear how essential to everyday life payment systems are, and that they must be resilient and convenient to allow people to rapidly change how they pay. On the whole, these systems work well. However, the payments landscape is evolving and with this, there are issues that need to be addressed. These include the prevalence of Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, risks to effective competition, and the need to support the payments sector to deliver new and improved services. Further challenges can also be expected, as global events impact the cost of living, which may affect what people need from payments to support their daily lives.

The PSR’s ambitious work programme for 2022/23 focuses on improving outcomes for everyone who uses payment systems so they are fit for the future.

Chris Hemsley, Managing Director at the PSR, said: 

“Over the past year we’ve taken bold action to bring change in payments – and our work has made improvements for people and businesses across the UK. We’ll continue to act swiftly and decisively to make sure that consumers and businesses are protected, and to promote innovation and competition where it counts.

“We have some big tasks ahead of us, including taking further steps to protect people against APP fraud and encouraging greater competition in the cards market.”

As the table below sets out, the PSR’s Annual Plan is guided by the four key priorities established in the regulator’s Strategy, which launched earlier this year.

Strategic priority

What we’ll do in 2022/23

1.  Access and choice

The PSR will continue to oversee LINK’s work to maintain the UK’s free-to-use ATM network, so people can access their cash when they need to. The regulator is also providing expert input on the regulatory framework for potential new payment systems, such as cryptoasset-based options. These new systems have the potential to increase choice and add to competition.

2. Protection

For payments to be made safely and with confidence, the PSR is using its powers to ensure that more people and businesses have the added security of the name-checking service Confirmation of Payee (CoP). It is also taking steps now to prepare for proposed legislative changes that should allow the PSR to act against APP fraud.

3. Competition

The PSR announced a major piece of work to investigate high card fees and is looking at ways to help merchants get more competitive deals by comparing and switching providers. The regulator is also overseeing Pay.UK’s work to deliver the New Payments Architecture (NPA), ensuring it sufficiently allows payment service providers to compete for customers, supporting competition and innovation.

4. Unlocking account-to-account payments

A particular focus for the PSR is looking at how account-to-account payments could provide credible alternatives to card payments in retail.

More information

To accompany the full plan published today, the PSR has created a handy factsheet, which summarises its key projects, along with a short video from Chris Hemsley, Managing Director and Natalie Timan, Head of Strategy, Analysis and Monitoring.

You can also get a better idea of the regulator's longer-term vision by reading its full Strategy or the shorter summary version which will help you glean the main points at a glance. 

The PSR is planning a hybrid discussion event to hear from stakeholders about the plan and discuss its projects in more detail. 

In the summer, the regulator will publish its annual report summarising how it has performed against its 2021/22 Annual Plan.