The New Payments Architecture Programme
The New Payments Architecture (NPA) is a new conceptual model for the future development of the UK’s shared retail payment infrastructure. It will be the biggest change to the way payments are processed in the UK since the 1960s, ensuring payments are safe while also encouraging competitive innovation and unlocking new business opportunities in everything from smarter uses of banking and payment data through to new transactional services.
Delivering the NPA
Since taking on the NPA Blueprint, we have been testing the NPA conceptual architecture using typical customer payment journeys, and forming the security and resilience model that will be vital in underpinning the NPA design.
The NPA programme will deliver the NPA Blueprint in stages. The core clearing and settlement layer, which will process more than £6.7 trillion worth of payments every year, is forecast for implementation after 2021. The development of the approach for its procurement was recently shared with the Bank of England and the PSR for their comments. We also expect end users will start to see improvements to their payment services throughout 2019 as a result of projects like Confirmation of Payee and Request to Pay. The NPA programme is driving the development and the release of standards to enable the market to develop these propositions.
The views of payment system users – whether you are a consumer, a business, a bank, a charity or a fintech – are crucial to the development of the NPA. Find out how to get involved with the NPA programme here.
Consultation on NPA scope
It has been more than two years since the Payments Strategy Forum’s Blueprint was published, and innovations such as confirmation of payee (CoP), request to pay (RtP) and Open Banking have changed, and will continue to change, the evolving payments ecosystem. It is important to factor in this industry change, so we are at an appropriate point to ascertain participants’ views on the NPA Programme’s scope before we finalise key decisions that will inform the next stage of programme planning.
Participant Engagement Document
To collate these views we shared a Participant Engagement Document and an associated questionnaire with Pay.UK direct participants across both the Faster Payments System and the Bacs Payments System. In addition, we shared the questionnaire with those organisations working with Pay.UK’s on-boarding team to become a direct participant as of December 2019, as well as liaising with UK Finance and direct participants to determine an appropriate group of indirect participants that these documents were also sent to. We encouraged all participants to consider the needs of their customers and end users when completing their responses.
The questionnaire marks the start of a broader set of engagement activity that Pay.UK is currently planning for stakeholders on the NPA Programme in 2020. Seeking participants’ views helps to support our analysis of transition planning, as well as considering the industry’s capacity for change.
The due date for responses has now passed. We are in the process of analysing these responses before we develop any recommendations and/or conclusions and publish our findings. Based on the outcome of the questionnaire, our next engagement is expected to be focused on the scope catalogue.
Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) 10 December 2018
Pay.UK, the leading retail payments authority (formerly known as the New Payment System Operator / NPSO), has made a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) available as part of the process to appoint a strategic partner to help deliver a new payments infrastructure for the UK. Known as the New Payments Architecture (NPA), this new infrastructure will safely and securely process trillions of pounds worth of payments every year.
The PQQ is the first major milestone in the procurement process that was outlined in Pay.UK’s ‘Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus’. The PQQ is looking to identify suppliers that a) can act as a prime contractor for end to end delivery or b) can provide some of the required products or services. It will provide an opportunity for suppliers to showcase their capability, experience and credentials. This will enable Pay.UK to accurately evaluate the marketplace and make informed choices about future phases of the procurement.
The PQQ will be made available via access to a secure portal to all suppliers that have expressed an interest in the procurement process. Completion of the PQQ phase will lead into the Request for Information (RFI) stage of the process in spring 2019.
Making this PQQ available is the next stage towards appointing a strategic partner to work with us to create the UK’s retail payments infrastructure of the future. Pay.UK puts the needs of businesses and consumers at the heart of everything it does and this is a unique opportunity for our potential partner to be part of creating that future with us.
Said Paul Horlock, Chief Executive of Pay.UK
The ‘Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus’- which is available to download here was published on 18 October 2018.
Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus
On 18 October 2018, Pay.UK published a ‘Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus’. This publication marks the starting point of a competitive process to appoint a strategic partner to help define, deliver and operate an evolving world-class payments infrastructure for the UK. The prospectus sets out the qualities required of potential partners – which could be a single supplier or a prime-led consortium – as well as explaining the various stages of the procurement process and the related timescales.
The successful partner will be responsible for the design and build of the clearing and settlement layer of the NPA, which includes the provision of hardware, software, secure communications and security standards and operating environments. It is expected that the successful strategic partner will be selected in Q2 2020.
The ‘Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus’ can be viewed below.
To download as a PDF click on ‘Fullscreen’ and ‘Download as a PDF’.
Any interested parties can contact the Pay.UK procurement team by emailing
email@example.com with ‘procurement’ in the subject line.
Get Involved with the NPA
The views of payment system users – whether you are a consumer, a business, a bank, a charity, or a fintech – are crucial to the development of the NPA. If you would like to get involved with the NPA programme, email
Our aim is to include stakeholders in our deliberations as part of the Board decision-making processes. We are committed to ensuring we engage in the right way for each individual stakeholder – our approach includes, (but is not limited to) written public consultations, research, bilateral dialogue and stakeholder advisory groups.
We began our stakeholder engagement programme in September 2017 and have held a series of events of which are listed on our website. These have included a range of stakeholders including consumers, businesses, fintechs, vendors and Payment Service Providers. Our focus has been on building our stakeholder community, introducing Pay.UK and our work programme (including the NPA), establishing the independent End User and Participant Advisory Councils, and seeking feedback on how stakeholders wish to engage with us and on what topics.
We will shortly be issuing a Non-Disclosure Agreement to cover all the activities across the NPA Programme. The NDA will allow stakeholders to view and feedback their thoughts and ideas on NPA documentation and other elements of the programme. If you want to find out more about the NDA, please email
To keep you up-to-date with continued developments on the NPA programme, a dedicated section will regularly feature in Pay.UK News and on the website. To sign up to Pay.UK News, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View our events page here
Find out more about the different aspects of the NPA programme below.
Core Clearing and Settlement Infrastructure
End User Deliverables
To support the design and delivery of the NPA, we are creating specific Advisory Groups to share information and obtain input from stakeholders on different aspects of the programme.
NPA participant, procurement, legal, request to pay and transactional data analytics groups are being set up in 2018, with more to follow. Find out how to nominate a representative below.