About
the NPA

The case for a modern payment system

As the recognised operator and standards body for the UK’s interbank retail payment systems, we play a fundamental role in supporting the economy and society. Among our key priorities is our continued work to ensure that our critical national infrastructure remains robust and resilient for years to come.

Today, the fast pace of technological change and evolving customer needs are pivotal driving forces in the payment space, alongside the perpetual need to promote simpler and safer payments. Payment systems must therefore adapt in tandem with these developments and customer expectations to continue to deliver for end users and remain competitive at a global level.

As a leader in interbank payments innovation, we are delivering the New Payments Architecture (NPA). This pioneering project will be the biggest upgrade the UK’s payment system has seen in a generation, creating a futureproof, single payment platform that will keep the country at the forefront of the global payments ecosystem.

What the NPA will deliver

The platform will allow us to realise six defined strategic objectives to support the UK economy:

Future proofing: maintaining a robust, resilient and scalable platform

The new technology will enhance the existing resilience in the payments system and help us manage systemic risk as the market and consumer habits continue to evolve.

Faster: real-time capability while maintaining flexibility

The NPA will enable us to process real-time consumer-to-business payments while maintaining flexibility and choice for those who require alternatives.

Helping to fight fraud: a safe and secure environment for all users

The new platform will deliver security features that significantly improve financial institutions’ ability to combat fraud and financial crime.

Enhanced data: the adoption of global messaging standards

Payments will run on a new global messaging standard (ISO 20022) which carries more data fields with each payment and gives our customers the tools to create new products and services.

Read more about the ISO 20022 messaging standard.

Fostering innovation: lower barriers to entry and flexibility of choice of access

We will reduce barriers to entry to the payments market by delivering more connectivity options through the programme. These include an automated and single settlement account model and an on-demand testing environment.

Driving efficiency: better productivity and lower costs for everyone in the payments ecosystem

We will drive operational efficiencies and cost savings for banks, building societies, fintechs and everyone else who operates in the payments ecosystem.

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