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PSR to explore opening up access to data in the UK’s new payments architecture

Today the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its response to its Data in the Payments Industry discussion paper.

Every time someone makes an electronic payment, whether by card in a shop or online, they generate data. This data is an important part of the UK payments industry. Last year the regulator invited feedback from the industry to help it to understand the emerging issues in this area and see if there was a need for a regulatory role.

In today’s publication, the PSR highlights a number of areas where industry needs to manage issues in payments data. In addition, the PSR will work with Pay.UK to explore the viability of opening up access to data in the UK’s new payments architecture (NPA). This could benefit everyone through the development of new products and services, such as anti-fraud and anti-money laundering tools and improved payment reconciliation services.

However, it is important to open up data in ways that respect the confidentiality of individuals’ data. A first step could be the creation of ‘synthetic’ data to help in the development of these services. This is ‘dummy’ data generated from real transactions across a payment system, which could be used without the data protection risks that might come with using real data.

Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the PSR, says:

“This is an exciting time for payments and having access to data is an incredibly useful way of helping develop new initiatives, products and services for everyone. But individuals’ privacy also needs to be respected.

“The creation of synthetic data within the new payments architecture has potential to support new services and innovation, and to help make further inroads in tackling financial crime. We’re looking forward to seeing how the industry takes these initiatives forward, while keeping people’s data safe and secure.”

The final document also provides clarifications of some details from the discussion paper. The full document, Data in the Payments Industry: Response to our discussion paper, is available to download.