Hannah Nixon's keynote speech at the BBA Future of Payments Conference 2016

13/10/2016

Speech by Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PSR, at the British Bankers' Association Future of Payments Conference on 13 October 2016 in London. 

This is the text of the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version.


Good morning.

It’s a pleasure to be able to deliver this keynote speech today and I extend my thanks to the British Bankers' Association for inviting me here.

Today is the third time I’ve accepted an invitation to deliver a keynote speech at the Future of Payments conference – this is my hatrick!

I am hopeful that this speech will be less The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and more The Three Tenors.

Now don’t panic; this won’t be a speech delivered in song and I’m certainly not going to break into Nessun Dorma! But I hope that what I say here today is in tune with your own views on the PSR's work and where the industry is heading.

Each time I’ve spoken here, I’ve been clear about what we at the Payment Systems Regulator are seeking to achieve. We want to see reliable, secure, fast and agile payment systems that work as best they can for all those that use them. And that we drive towards this by promoting competition and innovation where appropriate.

Everything we do at the PSR – and everything we have done since we first started engaging with you all in 2014 -  is focused on achieving that goal.

But that does not necessarily mean being active and intervening for the sake of regulating – it’s about having a heightened level of awareness to know when to step in and ensure that the right action is taken, and when to let the market deliver on its own.

So this morning, I thought:

  • I’d talk a little about ensuring innovation really benefits consumers, and delivering on collaborative initiatives.
  • And then look at a couple of big issues facing payments with respect to innovation – ensuring innovation benefits consumers and delivering on collaborative initiatives.

The stock take

So where are we now and what have we achieved?

Well, as many of you will recall, when we were setting up as a regulator, one of the first things we did was to reach out to consumers, users and industry to understand their concerns and perspectives.

That led us to focus on three key themes:

  • Ensuring payment systems do not get in the way of retail banking competition, and competition more widely.
  • Considering the structure of the market, in particular examining whether the ownership of infrastructure in interbank systems is getting in the way of competition and/or innovation.
  • Speeding up innovation at the centre of payments where collaboration is required.

And I'm pleased to say that we've made a lot of progress on each of these areas, so the time is right for a stock take.

Ensuring payment systems don’t get in the way of competition is basically about improving access: making sure those who need to access payment