This requires the operator of the Faster Payment Scheme (FPS) to procure any future contracts for central infrastructure services in a competitive manner. Additionally, the first central infrastructure contract competitively procured in accordance with this specific direction:

  • should be capable of receiving and sending all relevant messages (used in the payment system) in the ISO 20022 messaging standard
  • must, as a minimum, buy services needed to support single push payments (with purchase of any additional services and system functionality subject to PSR’s non-objection)


We gave the original Specific Direction (SD) 3 to the operator of the FPS in June 2017.

In July 2021, we published our decisions on lowering risks to delivery of the New Payments Architecture. To implement those decisions, we gave SD 3a (varying SD 3) to the operator of the FPS in December 2021. The changes made to SD3 by SD3a apply from 1 January 2022. We have also published a consolidated SD 3 (as varied by SD3a).

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