Enhanced Data


Enhanced Data offers the capability to add additional information to payments. This could be added as standardised, structured data creating both a larger data capacity and wider data range capable of transmission.

In addition to including additional information, such as purpose of the payment, tax and benefit information, a personalised message and underlying business transaction details, Enhanced Data could also provide a capability to link items to a payment.


To ensure that payment systems remain competitive and flexible enough to meet the changing expectations of users and their future needs, the PSF (Payment Strategy Forum) concluded in 2017 that new payments architecture would be required.

Recognising the above, the Pay.UK initiated the New Payments Architecture (NPA) programme which has been split into a series of 9 discreet ‘workstreams’,  each focusing on enhancing the end-user experience and addressing the detriments identified in the PSF Strategy and Blueprint documents.

One of the end-user overlay services, which has the potential to enrich the user experience, is the newly formed Enhanced Data project (part of NPA Workstream C), which aims to address the following detriments as contained within the PSF Blueprint:

  • Lack of sufficient remittance data with payments (leading to secondary detriments to the Payees, caused through costly ‘manual’ reconciliation).
  • Lack of structure in the existing payments data (leading to lost automation benefits achievable through defined data structures).
  • Lack of a common standard format (leading to secondary detriments associated with non-realisable ‘automation’ and interoperability benefits).

The project is now seeking to work with a small group of organisations to further explore the potential of this capability in an open and transparent way to the industry.

What standards will Enhanced Data use?

The use of the ISO 20022 standard is an enabling factor in the delivery of Enhanced Data in the New Payments Architecture. Using ISO 20022 approved messages will inherently provide the capability to carry additional information on payment messages via ‘designated’ message fields for additional information e.g.  Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

In addition, ISO 20022 messages also have the capability to refer to additional ISO messages with remittance data.  Further, the use of a single data model across the NPA will allow for the reliable transfer of information end-to-end across the various overlay services defined as part of the NPA, allowing enhanced data contained in these services to be passed through unchanged through the New Payments Architecture (NPA).

What could Enhanced Data be used for?

Enhanced Data can be used to provide quicker access to the underlying business transaction and payment details. For example, this could enable payees and payers to identify the reasons for the payment, as soon as it is received or taken out from an account.

The following high level use cases identify the key customer segments where Enhanced Data could be utilised:

Type Benefits Examples
Commercial customers Enhanced Data could offer benefits to utility bills, invoicing, and salary payments, to mention a few use cases. Reconciliation savings, receiving and ability to provide enriched information would be the key benefits. Message fields within the payment instructions could be utilised to capture and carry, remittance details, tax information, e-invoices, bill information, salary details, and a link to documents.
Retail customers Enrichment of the customer experience for retail customers, with pertinent information being made available quicker. A customer sending a payment for a lunch or paying a sole trader could include a personalised message, details of a receipt, a URL /link to a receipt/bill within the payment instruction.
Government organisation Enhanced Data can be used to carry the details of benefit payments or tax notifications with the payments. This will enable the payees to get quicker access to the information avoiding calls, reducing fraud, reducing payment errors and additional reconciliation effort for government departments. Designated fields within the payments instruction or a URL can carry additional information about attachment of earnings, housing benefit, universal credit, council tax, road tax, corporation tax etc.

The above represents just a small selection of use cases. As part of the scoping phase for the project, we are now seeking to work with the market to identify additional high-value/low-friction use cases.

How will the Enhanced Data functionality work?

Enhanced Data can be carried within payment messages for all payment types made via Payment Service Providers (PSPs) using New Payments Architecture to Payers and Payees.
Figure 1 below illustrates one of the potential data flows at a high level for a single Credit Transfer:

  1. The payer initiates a payment and includes Enhanced Data related to the payment. (This could be a personalised message, details of a business transaction in designated fields, a link to an image, invoice, bill etc.)
    a. Image or document to be sent with the payment is sent to the Repository Provider (Pay.UK Accredited Organisation).
    b. Repository Provider stores the image/document and provides a URL.
  2. Enhanced Data is carried within the payment instruction without truncation, through to the payee.
  3. Payer’s PSP sends the payment instruction with Enhanced Data across to the New Payments Architecture (NPA).
  4. NPA carries out the clearing and settlement and sends the payment instruction to the payee’s PSP.
  5. Payee’s PSP makes the payment details, enriched reference and business transaction details available to the payee.
  6. Payee receives additional information and retrieves the image via a URL. This additional information enables the payee to reconcile the payment.
    a. Retrieval Provider (Pay.UK Accredited Organisation) makes a request to directory services. Once the request is authenticated and authorised, image/document is returned as a response to the payee. This activity can also sit under a PSP.
    b. Directory Services authenticates and authorises a retrieval request and provides a look-up service to identify the Repository Provider.

Call for interest

Who is the Enhanced Data project engaging with?

We are looking to engage with firms of all sizes who could benefit from the new capability for Enhanced Data to be carried within the payment instructions. It could be government organisations, commercial organisations, financial service providers, system suppliers/ fintechs, consumer organisations, industry associations and trade bodies.

We envision that by engaging with the Enhanced Data team on the use of Enhanced Data, organisations can help to shape the approach. They can utilise this information to consider how their own systems could be adapted or developed to align with this emerging design to provide innovative and competitive services, reducing their own operational overheads in line with the above.

How can I engage with the Enhanced Data project?

The project will followed a two-stage engagement approach:

Stage One: We have asked all interested parties to complete a questionnaire which will help to identify segments, sectors, stakeholders, use cases and benefits, helping the project in turn to map an information matrix informing scope and field of engagement.

Stage Two: Will built on data gathered through the questionnaire. The project invited a cohort of respondees to discuss this topic in further detail with the Enhanced Data team, via the following outreach activities:

  1. Introductory Workshops (Half day)

Key objective: to share the themes coming out of the questionnaire responses and outline the plan for further work.

  1. One-to-one dedicated sessions (1-2 hours per session)

Key Objective: Drawing from the information gathered from the questionnaire responses, the project will ‘deep-dive’ use cases, benefits enhancement, honing in on benefits realisation, must-haves versus could-haves etc.  This information will assist the project to draw up commonalities and themes, helping in turn to define key data models.

  1. Round table wrap up (1-2 hours)

Key Objective: To share lessons learned, common data models, redacted benefit cases and approaches to realisation.

The results of each of the above steps in this exercise are now available to the participants after each workshop, session or roundtable on an ongoing basis through the Pay.UK website or other medium in order to facilitate transparency of process for the participants and wider industry publicly.

What topics will be covered?

Analysis undertaken by the project to date has indicated the following areas of interest that would benefit further exploration through the above forums:

  • Determining what can be included within the message via designated fields for easy access and what can be linked via a URL, therefore identifying a preferred message format
  • Leverage Enhanced Data capability – exploring how we could use these capabilities to further increase innovation in the market

How will the information gathered be used?

The information gathered as part of the engagement of the Enhanced Data project will be used for:

  • creation of use-case library
  • identification of legal and legislative parameters
  • investigation of data storage and retrieval, exploring the potential for market realisation
  • protection of data in transit and at rest
  • compilation of Data Dictionary
  • identification of Data Types and associated parameters
  • industry implementation and coordination of Enhanced Data capability
  • overlay of Enhanced Data on existing schemes, services and architecture
  • provision of requirements to the NPA procurement process.


The team will work to develop a cross-industry community of expertise, to ensure that whatever is introduced through the project has had full consideration and is supported by a firm rationale.

Use Case Themes

Type of Organisations and their count:

Types of Organisations Chart

  • Personalising payments experience
  • Individual end user benefits – Bill splitting and paying to a sole trader with pertinent information included.
  • Enhanced Data Analytics resulting in better customer propositions
  • Improved Customer/merchant interactions
  • Enhanced Data included with Request to Pay
  • Organisational end user -Invoice reconciliation, Account Payables and Account Receivables reconciliation
  • Payments reconciliation
  • Reduced manual effort
  • Additional inputs to the Suspicious Activity Report for suspicious transactions
  • Enhanced Fraud Monitoring and Analytics
  • Geo-location, Purpose codes and other indicators could be captured along with the payment to reduce fraud
  • Payroll and billing link with Enterprise Resource Planning systems
  • Tax processing automation
  • Linking payment flow to block chain
  • To enable provision of intelligent supportive accounts
  • Enabling switching/portability in other sectors, for example Energy and Pensions.