Genevieve Marjoribanks Payment Systems Innovation and Regulation Summit speech - 3 June 2020


This is the text of the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. This speech was delivered at the Payment Systems Innovation and Regulation Summit speech on 3 June 2020.

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to speak here today. 

The fight against COVID-19 is proving to be a formidable challenge. It’s having a devastating effect all over the world, and the financial sector is working to provide vital lifelines that people need to deal with the impact.

I don’t know about you, but I usually use a variety of different ways to pay for things – whether it’s using cash at my children’s school fairs, using Faster Payments to transfer money to family and friends, or making contactless payments in shops. That all comes down to having a choice of different payment methods. But choice only happens because of innovation.

Right now, everything is different. The payments sector is constantly innovating, but even in the last ten or so weeks we’ve seen rapid change, from differences in the way people access and use cash to companion cards, allowing account holders to give someone they trust a debit card to make essential purchases on their behalf.

At the PSR, one of our key priorities is exactly this: innovation. Not innovation for the sake of innovation, but for the long-term benefits it can bring.

It’s at the heart of everything we do, alongside effective competition and ensuring that payment systems are operated and developed in the interest of the people and businesses that use them.

New Payments Architecture (NPA)

First, I want to look at supporting innovation and greater competition by delivering a resilient, robust architecture. For the PSR, the New Payments Architecture, or NPA, is one of our key priorities.

The NPA’s Blueprint comes from the Payments Strategy Forum, produced by countless hours of collaboration between industry stakeholders and users. It provides an ambitious plan for developing an innovative, competitive interbank payments environment underpinned by a resilient, sustainable infrastructure. 

In 2008, Faster Payments was one of the world’s first 24/7 immediate interbank payment systems. Now, it has been emulated in some form in over 50 countries, demonstrating that the UK can be at the forefront of payments innovation.

We all want to be part of delivering success for the future and there is a common consensus amongst industry that the NPA is the way forward.

By upgrading our interbank payment services to use the ISO20022 messaging standard and enabling other enhancements from the Blueprint, we can help to maintain the UK’s position as a payments leader.

Pay.UK has the challenge of developing the NPA ecosystem, including consulting on the NPA scope and potential trade-offs in competition, user benefits versus costs and implementation timelines. It must also ensure that the design and governance arrangements of the NP