Today, the PSR has announced a new initiative to understand potential barriers to the take-up of digital payments and identify potential solutions.

The initiative will be undertaken by the PSR Panel, led by Dr Ruth Wandhöfer, the PSR Panel Chair. The PSR has tasked the Panel to undertake this work in response to last year’s Access to Cash Working Group’s recommendation for further work to enable digital payments.

The PSR Panel is ideally placed to undertake the review, drawing on the knowledge and experience of the panel members, through a series of subgroups and engaging with a range of stakeholders through the process. The PSR has tasked them to develop and understand the different uses for digital payments, assess what barriers there might be and identify what appropriate regulatory action might be required.

The regulator has set out four key areas of focus for the Panel 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.

Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the PSR said:

“We’re at an important time for payments. While more of us are using digital payments, there’s still more for us to understand about what works for people and businesses, what prevents them from using digital payments, and what regulatory interventions could support improved outcomes for all.

“This initiative will provide us with valuable insights and help us to set a course to make sure everyone can have a choice of payment methods that really work for them.”

Dr Ruth Wandhöfer, PSR Panel Chair said:

“The PSR Panel is ideally placed to set out what more can be done to support this work, drawing on experience from across the payments industry. This focused initiative will help guide the PSR’s work to support the ultimate objective of every user having an informed choice of payment methods that work for them.”

The Panel-led initiative will be confined to the PSR’s remit and will run until later this year, when the findings and considerations will be presented to the PSR. After this, the PSR will consider what next steps should be taken.


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