New Payments Architecture programme

Every day, people and businesses all over the UK make payments, receive their salaries and take steps to manage their financial wellbeing. In 2019 alone, £7.4 trillion was processed through Pay.UK’s retail payment systems: the Bacs Payment System, the Faster Payment System and the Image Clearing System (which processes Cheque Payments).

In December 2017, the Payments Strategy Forum (PSF) published an ‘NPA Design and Transition Blueprint’ – a conceptual design for the modernisation and future-proofing of the UK’s retail payments infrastructure.

As the guardian of the payments ecosystem Pay.UK has been tasked with realising the vision of the PSF Blueprint. Key areas of focus include:

  • Providing simpler access to enable increased participation
  • Ensuring ongoing stability and resilience
  • Encouraging greater innovation and competition
  • Enhancing adaptability and security
  • Creating an infrastructure that will benefit those who use payment services.

This is the New Payments Architecture (NPA) – a vision for the future development of the UK’s shared retail payment infrastructure. The NPA will enable the payments ecosystem to realise new opportunities previously unseen, unlock innovation and competition and address persisting detriments.

Delivering the NPA

At the heart of the NPA will be a single clearing and settlement core that is robust and resilient, incorporating ISO 20022 messaging standards fields as defined by the industry. Utilising ISO 20022, together with clearly defined rules and service level agreements will enable a step change for the UK payments industry, enabling many more to utilise it and ensure that it remains interoperable with payment services across the globe. Growth within the retail payments industry will benefit the wider UK economy. Those who send and receive payments will also continue to see improvements and increased choice of payment services like confirmation of payee and request to pay.

To make sure the NPA is optimised to market demands and the single clearing and settlement core is best-in-class, Pay.UK has an ongoing dialogue with the payments ecosystem through public consultations, industry forums and working groups. This dialogue is crucial to the development of the NPA and delivering the original vision.

Find out how to get involved with the NPA programme below.

Core clearing and settlement infrastructure

The backbone of the NPA will be a single core clearing and settlement layer that will enable payments to be made safely and securely.