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
In addition to the above mentioned research, Pay.UK also sought to test the market’s reaction to this new Framework and explore potential opportunities for and barriers to implementation, and market uptake.
At the end of 2018 we commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct research with stakeholders including businesses, charities and financial institutions. Qualitative research then took place in early 2019, comprising roundtable discussions and in-depth interviews focused on sectors with the potential to benefit from the service.
The findings were published in a report: Request to pay – exploring industry views. It presents the independent conclusions and recommendations, and highlights the themes that emerged from speaking to payments decision-makers across a variety of businesses.
Enrolment journey for potential providers to onboard to the Request to Pay Framework
To view the draft specifications for the Request to Pay Framework and find out more, please register for access at requesttopay.co.uk