New Payments Architecture core

Core clearing and settlement

Retail payments in the UK have historically been processed using separate infrastructures – meaning there has been a mix of rules, standards and processes to follow. Bringing all of these payment systems together into one organisation has created a historic opportunity to rebuild the core clearing and settlement infrastructure from the bottom up, simplifying requirements for payment service providers (PSPs) through interoperability and catalysing innovation. The whole market will have the ability to utilise this core. The market will also be able to add value to their payments products and services through additional ‘overlay services’ that will be developed by the payments industry for the benefit of end users. Pay.UK has already developed two of these overlay services – Confirmation of Payee and Request to Pay.

Procuring the core infrastructure

Pay.UK is working to procure a strategic partner to deliver and operate the UK’s New Payments Architecture core clearing and settlement infrastructure. The core clearing and settlement layer will take over the processing of £7.4 trillion of Bacs Payments and Faster Payments.

Pre-Qualifying Questionnaire
In December 2018, Pay.UK published a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). It was the first milestone in the procurement process and provided the opportunity for suppliers to showcase their capability, experience and credentials. As a result of the PQQ, a targeted group of bidders were identified.

Request for Information and Request for Proposal
In May 2019, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued to these bidders. Responses to the RFI were received in October 2019 and Pay.UK agreed the bidders that will move to the current Request for Proposal stage.

New Payments Architecture rules and standards

Payments are not just about technology. There are two sides to every payment – a payer and payee that typically hold accounts with different payment system providers (PSPs). This means that for payments to work for consumers and businesses all stakeholders in the system must follow the rules, standards and regulations that underpin payment systems.

Our dedicated Standards Authority is responsible for setting and maintaining standards and rules to ensure the UK’s retail payments infrastructure is interoperable and remains safe and secure for all. Their work is not limited to ISO 20022 – it includes all standards in scope in order to recognise the vision for retail payments within the UK. The Authority will also issue best practice guidelines to help ensure consumers and businesses get the best possible user journey from the various products and services that will utilise the NPA.