Insofar as payment service providers need access to a bank account in order to access payment systems we will examine this issue as part of our work on access, particularly indirect access.
These are primarily issues for HM Revenue & Customs and the Financial Conduct Authority. If the requirements are causing barriers to accessing the payment systems then we will consider them as part of our work on access, including indirect access.
No, the PSR does not issue authorisations. You will need to apply to the FCA for authorisation as a payment service institution. Further details on how to apply can be found here.
The IFR aimed to reduce the costs for merchants of accepting card payments by capping the interchange fees that acquirers pay to issuers on certain consumer debit and credit card transactions. The IFR did not cap the fees that merchants pay to acquirers. It relied on competition between acquirers to ensure that the benefits of the interchange fee caps flowed through to merchants, and ultimately consumers.
Some stakeholders have raised concerns that acquirers have not passed on the savings they make from the interchange fee caps to smaller merchants. These concerns, amongst others, prompted us to begin a market review of the supply of card-acquiring services. We published the final Terms of Reference (ToR) in January 2019. Read more about our Market review into the supply of card-acquiring services.