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Consolidation of UK retail payment systems is now complete

Published 02 07 2018

On 1 July 2018, the New Payment Systems Operator (NPSO) took over the running and managing of the cheque paper and cheque image clearing systems.

The NPSO has now completed the consolidation of the UK’s retail interbank payment systems having taken responsibility of the systems run by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) and Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL) on 1 May 2018.

From this point our powers will apply to NPSO Ltd in relation to the cheque paper and cheque image clearing systems as well as in relation to Bacs and FPS. 

This consolidation was one of the recommendations of our Payments Strategy Forum and will enhance the capability and capacity of the operators, streamline governance arrangements and reduce the complexity and costs of having three separate operators.

Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of the PSR, said:

"For the first time the three operators of FPS, Bacs and the cheque paper and cheque image clearing systems, which are jointly responsible for the processing of £6.4 trillion payments each year, are under one roof. This is a key milestone along the journey to introduce game-changing innovation at the heart of the UK’s interbank payment systems.

"This consolidated entity will enhance the capability and capacity of the operators and will further open access by creating a single point of entry for Payment Service Providers and promoting more harmonisation of rules across the three systems. In addition, it will deliver strategic leadership for the industry and a state-of-art New Payments Architecture, which will drive innovation and competition in the interests of users.

"We will ensure that the NPSO successfully manages the integration to deliver the benefits of the consolidation – the combination of which will enable greater competition and innovation to serve the evolving needs of users in our ever-changing technological landscape."

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