Your questions answered

To help you better understand Request to Pay, we have developed some frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss how to get involved in Request to Pay, email info@requesttopay.co.uk.

Request to Pay is a messaging framework that works as an overlay with existing payments infrastructure. With Request to Pay, billers can send requests for payments and give the payer the option to pay all, pay partial, request extension, send them a message or decline. It is designed to enable payers to manage and settle their bills more flexibly, while enabling billers to send requests for payments and reconcile those payments more efficiently. Billers and payers can engage in a digital dialogue to support bill payments.

Request to Pay benefits the bill payment process by providing unique reference data and a digital audit trail that can streamline bill reconciliation as well as facilitating direct digital communication with customers to support bill payments. This could help reduce cost and build customer relationships.

Request to Pay  benefits bill payers by providing them with flexibility and control in how they manage their bills. The norms of the world of work and working patterns are changing. Increasing numbers of people do not have on a regular fixed monthly income and therefore being able to manage bills more flexibly is beneficial.

Most types of bills could be managed efficiently with Request to Pay: regular utility bills, charitable donations, retail payments or payments between individuals could all be managed via the Request to Pay framework.

For more detailed information download our factsheets or watch our latest video.

We believe Request to Pay will give people the opportunity to actively manage their bill payments and give them more control and flexibility to suit their needs. Contractual agreements will remain in place and failure to meet deadlines will result in the same consequences which exist today.

Request to Pay is a secure messaging framework which stores the details of both billers and payers within its network. The network is made up of secure repositories, which store requests and route them between billers and payers, similar to the way email server works. The biller and payer details are verified every time a request is made to ensure authentication and help prevent fraud.

For more detailed information about how Request to Pay works please watch this video.

The framework was launched in May 2020. Technical service providers, payment service providers, banking institutions, fintechs and billers can all get involved now to deliver the Request to Pay proposition to market. You can find out more on the Request to Pay website developer portal or contact us at requesttopay@wearepay.uk

The developer portal contains a library of the technical workings and requirements of the Request to Pay messaging standard. Alongside this is a sandbox that developers can connect to test apps and repositories.

Using the portal, interested parties can help us refine the technical specifications and create and test proof of concept solutions in a non-live environment.

You will need to create an account on the Request to Pay website under the developer’s portal. Here you will have access to the relevant information under the documentation section.

Using the portal, interested parties can help us refine the technical specifications and create and test proof of concept solutions in a non-live environment.

All Request to Pay-SPs (Service Providers) must either be authorised, regulated or supervised (as the case may be) by the FCA, PRA and/or PSR in the United Kingdom. This is primarily to ensure that the Request to Pay-SP is subject to regulatory or contractual obligations to carry out appropriate KYC checks on end users and to provide robust processes and controls for the prevention of money laundering or other Financial Crime. As well as the above, it will also be possible for software developers (in their capacities as Request to Pay technical  providers) to build solutions for use by the Request to Pay-SPs. These Request to Pay technology providers cannot however provide solutions directly to end users unless they are themselves admitted by the Request to Pay framework manager at Pay.UK into the Request to Pay framework.

You will need to sign up using one of the organisations that offer the service. Once you have signed up and connected your bank account, you will be able to send requests, using your provider and method of choice (app, web, etc.)

In order to offer the service, you will have to either develop a Request to Pay application or repository, or connect to an existing product offered by another company. Your customers will be able to sign in to your service using their Request to Pay payment address.

Request to Pay could help reduce costs, for example by giving billers the ability to send invoices as attachments thus potentially reducing postal fees. It will also help facilitate direct communication with customers potentially streamlining payment queries. It will also enable easy reconciliation of payments because billers will be setting the reference when requesting money. A study was undertaken to establish how much the service can save the UK economy, which is available for download here.

Similar services are not entirely open (i.e. requests can only be sent to and from people using the same provider) and limit how and when you can pay your contacts.

Request to Pay is unique as it will allow any user to send and receive requests, no matter whether their bank offers the service or not. Also, it gives you flexibility in managing your bills alongside payments to friends and family, regardless of the service they’re using. You can then pay how you want and when you want, as long as you continue to meet your legal requirements.

Request to Pay is not a replacement for Direct Debit, but a complementary service tailored to a large proportion of the UK population which do not benefit from using Direct Debit today.

These consumers and businesses often require greater flexibility in making and receiving payments.

No, all the payment options (pay all, pay partial, request extension, send a message, decline) are requirements set by the Payments Strategy Forum blueprint. Therefore, these options must be included in any Request to Pay interface.

We are currently working on a way to ensure the service is available to everyone in the UK. The aim is to create a way for bill payers to access the service via the high street.

This will be a competitive decision. Some organisations may automatically create Request to Pay addresses for their existing customers. However, this does not mean that the customer has to use this address. Bill payers will be able to create and use as many (or few) Request to Pay addresses as they like, for example one for their business and one for personal use.

No, the service is entirely payment agnostic. This means that it will be up to the Request to Pay provider to determine what payments its customers are able to use. However, it will be a requirement of the service that more than one payment option is offered.

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