We are publishing our Annual Plan and Budget, setting out our key aims and activities for the year 2020/21 alongside our expected costs. 

Our Annual Plan was drafted before the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. It sets out our prior expectations about our priorities and planned work. Much of the work described will continue, perhaps in different ways and – no doubt – to a revised timetable. We will continuously review our work to ensure that we are focusing on the right things and adapting our approach to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Payment systems are essential to all our lives. They enable us to make and receive the payments we need, whether it’s getting our salary or benefits, buying our shopping or putting down a mortgage deposit. 

Payments are also at the centre of several big transitions, as technology, people’s habits and the economy change. At the PSR, our role is vital in making these transitions work well for people, businesses and society.

Anybody with an interest in payments and payment systems can read this document to gain a clear overview of what we are doing, why and how. We’ve also made a handy factsheet and video summarising our plan.

Aims and activities 2020/21

This year, we will continue to deliver our objectives through the programme of key work outlined in this document. Our key projects aim to make sure that:

  • Pay.UK’s development of the New Payments Architecture (NPA) delivers a resilient way of making digital payments that supports more competition and innovation, to the benefit of the people and organisations using the system 
  • people can continue to access and use cash from the ATM networks where they want or need to in an increasingly digital world
  • the market for card-acquiring services works well, supported by effective competition
  • more is done to prevent authorised push payment (APP) scams and protect victims
  • payment systems and markets are more competitive and/or deliver better outcomes for users; this includes tackling anti-competitive conduct, so that there is a credible deterrence against such behaviour

We recognise that it is essential to allow organisations to focus all their efforts on supporting their customers as best as they can at this difficult time. We will therefore carefully assess the requirements we place on the organisations we regulate and where it is appropriate, will act to extend certain deadlines - especially where our regulatory requirements may distract firms from the immediate priority of dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. 

Despite changing circumstances, we will continue our work on opening up access to payment systems, promoting effective competition in the markets for payment systems and their services, and promoting users’ interests.

In the coming year, we’ll continue to make sure we have the right mix of payments expertise alongside regulatory, economic and legal skills. We’ll also develop a clear statement of our longer-term strategy, with input from our stakeholders.

Our budget for 2020/21

Our annual budget for 2020/21 reflects our operating costs from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. We estimate these costs to be around £16.8 million.


Operating costs

£ (millions)


Staff costs



Professional fees



Training, events, recruitment and travel



Accommodation and office services 



Information systems 










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