PSR Panel identifies the barriers and potential solutions to enable more people to use digital payments

Today, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has welcomed the PSR Panel’s newly published Digital Payments Initiative report. The report, commissioned by the PSR, highlights the challenges to the take-up of digital payments and what the potential solutions and regulatory actions could look like.

The Initiative concluded there are four high-level areas of focus to address to enable greater take-up of digital payments:

  • improving awareness, understanding and trust in digital payment options;
  • tackling barriers to new digital payment services and service features, including enabling new functionalities and improving trust by addressing fraud risks;
  • reducing digital exclusion; and
  • putting better data in place to monitor the transition to digital payments.

The report includes a set of technical recommendations to tackle barriers to new digital payment services that could enable more people - particularly the cash-reliant - to use digital payments. There is a focus on unlocking the potential of open banking payment services, for example to provide people with greater visibility and control through the use of variable recurring retail payments.

Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the PSR said:

“Against the backdrop of falling cash use, the PSR Panel’s report highlights an important role for us in the transition to digital payments.

“Making sure digital payments work for all, particularly those currently reliant on cash, is a key priority for us.

“Open banking represents a significant opportunity to allow people to make account-to-account payments with ease and in ways that work for them – something we have focused on in both our strategy and annual plan.”

Dr Ruth Wandhöfer, chair of the PSR Panel said:

“The Initiative brought together a broad range of expertise and considered emerging developments across the payments sector.

“This report is a first step to understanding the barriers and solutions to increased take-up of digital payments. It provides both strategic and more tangible recommendations for how the PSR, together with the broader ecosystem, could help to ensure that everyone has access to digital payment services that meet their needs.”

The PSR will engage with industry and relevant authorities on the barriers and solutions that the panel have identified to enable greater and easier use of digital payments, with a workshop planned in June, and will set out its response to the Panel’s recommendations later in the summer.


  • The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) Panel is established by statute and is independent to the PSR. The Panel's role is to contribute towards the effective development of the PSR's strategy and policy and offer advice and early input on the PSR's work.
  • The panel is made up of members drawn from payments system operators, payments service providers, infrastructure and technology providers and service users including consumer, large and small business representatives. 
  • The PSR commissioned the Panel in summer 2021 to undertake this initiative and to consider:
    • Identifying potential purchases or transactions where digital payments could provide a solution to future needs including aspects like cards for caregivers with multiple clients, or budgeting tools.
    • Collating relevant evidence from international experience and payment initiation aspects of Open Banking to learn from those countries that have been successful in enabling digital payments.
    • Identifying the practical challenges for users and small businesses that could prevent digital payment options being adopted, including those arising from recent shifts in payment usage, and how these can be overcome.
    • Identifying technical and/or regulatory barriers within the PSR’s remit to enable suppliers of digital payment services to develop new payment solutions, which will lead to greater choice for everyone.