Request to Pay
Request to Pay is a new, flexible way for bills to be settled between people, organisations and businesses.
It is a messaging service that has been created to complement existing payments infrastructure and gives billers the ability to request payment for a bill rather than simply sending an invoice. For each ‘request’, customers will be able to pay in full, pay in part, ask for more time, communicate with the biller, or decline to pay. A customer’s response does not change their legal obligations.
The Framework is now available to organisations that will be able to incorporate it into their apps and services. It will sit alongside Direct Debit and other existing bill payment methods to give consumers and businesses additional choice and flexibility when managing their finances. It is estimated that it could save the UK economy £1.3 billion per year. However subsequent research to that which was carried out in 2016 and 2017 would now suggest that this is a conservative figure and it is more likely to be between £2 and £3 billion.
Request to Pay has for the last four and half years undergone constant research and user proposition testing to ensure that the final Framework that was launched on 29 May 2020 meets the user needs of all the people and organisations that could potentially use it. This testing was completed with 6 months of consultation with the industry, followed by a further 6 month pilot to validate the Framework and to ensure that it was fit for purpose. This included testing that messages could be sent across the Request to Pay ecosystem and that payments could be made as a result of receiving a Request to Pay message.
Exploring industry views
We undertook independent research amongst businesses, charities and financial institutions to explore the potential benefits of the Framework. The findings were published in a report: Request to Pay – exploring industry views. Building on the findings of the report, we have scoped out use cases for Request to Pay, interrogating different opportunities that exist for the Framework as well as looking at how it can be used as a tool to help address such challenges as the poverty premium and payment reconciliation for businesses.