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RP19/1 - Data in the payments industry: Response to our discussion paper

Published 09 09 2019
We published a discussion paper on 13 June 2018 on the role of data in the payments industry, and asked for feedback on the issues raised in the paper. Here, we summarise the findings and our conclusions.

Why we are publishing this document

Every time someone makes an electronic payment, whether by card in a shop or online, they generate data. This data is an important part of the UK payments industry. We wanted to understand the emerging issues and whether we needed to have a regulatory role. 

We’re also keen to explore the role data will play in the UK’s new payments architecture (NPA), which is being designed by Pay.UK (the operator of the Bacs, Faster Payments and Cheque and Credit payment systems). We think this could help the industry to develop and provide the best possible products and services for consumers.

What this document contains

We asked for feedback on general payments data issues as well as three focus areas: 

  • access to scheme-wide datasets (data on transactions across a whole payment system)
  • end-user willingness to share data
  • realising the benefits of enhanced data

Our response paper summarises the feedback we received from stakeholders. We also provide our own responses and, where necessary, clarifications on some of the issues raised. We have also outlined our intention to work with Pay.UK to examine the possible ways data can be used in the NPA, including the potential for using synthetic (or ‘dummy’) data to develop new services.

Stakeholders generally recognised that payments data could offer benefits to consumers and the industry, including the potential for new payment services and anti-crime measures. 

Who should read this document

This discussion will mainly be relevant to the payments industry, technical specialists and related entities, like consumer associations. Nonetheless, the use of payments data and the implementation of the NPA affects us all, so our findings should also be of interest to a wide audience.

What happens next

After assessing all the responses in detail, we’ve highlighted a number of areas where industry needs to manage the emerging issues in payments data. In addition, we will work with Pay.UK to explore the viability of opening up access to data in the NPA, while respecting the confidentiality of people’s data. This work will include assessing the potential role of synthetic data. This could allow firms to develop new products that serve consumers’ best interests without the data protection risks that might come with using real data.

We will also monitor developments in this area, and will consider if we need to take further action as new issues emerge.