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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

Request to Pay is an overlay messaging service. The service provides a secure digital communication channel that has been created to complement existing payments infrastructure. Using Request to Pay, participating organisations can issue flexible bill payment requests or enter into a dialogue with bill payers, where appropriate, through their own payment apps and services. The service can help billers and payers reduce the issues that arise when paying and collecting payments, including reconciliation costs and the resources required to chase unpaid amounts.

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 in which an email server works. The biller and payer details are verified every time a request is made to ensure authentication, helping to prevent fraud.

Technical service providers, payment service providers (PSPs), banking institutions, fintechs and billers can all get involved to deliver the Request to Pay proposition to the payments market. If you would like to discuss how to get involved in Request to Pay, email

Yes, the Request to Pay framework can be used to simply issue payment requests, offering the choice of paying in full, or using Request to Pay as a secure way to open a dialogue. Billers can also choose to give their bill payers the option to pay in part, delay payment or decline the request if they do not recognise the bill.

  • When utilised, Request to Pay can benefit the bill payment process by providing unique reference data and a digital audit trail that can streamline bill reconciliation and significantly cut finance back-office costs
  • Communication via Request to Pay is more efficient, effective and secure than other channels for both billers and payers. Request to Pay is ‘payment agnostic’, allowing billers to choose which payment channels and options they want to offer to their bill payers. This builds better biller / bill payer relations
  • When utilised, Request to Pay can be used for wider communication with bill payers than just bill presentment. It can also drive cross-sell or upsell opportunities, as well as act as a marketing channel
  • Request to Pay has the ability to enhance the bill payer onboarding process, particularly for Direct Debit
  • Request to Pay can be used to facilitate bill payer refunds and reduce the administrative and communication burden, these often present
  • Request to Pay can be employed to enable ecommerce and in-store merchant payment options.
  • When utilised, Request to Pay gives bill payers more flexibility and control in managing their payments, enhancing their experience and building loyalty
  • Many bill payers have developed a preference for communicating via digital channels, such as apps. Request to Pay leverages this preference and provides a seamless journey from message to payment initiation
  • When utilised, Request to Pay messages include attachments to ensure the customer has all the information necessary to support the payment request.

Most types of bills can be managed efficiently with Request to Pay. Regular utility bills, charitable donations, retail payments or payments between individuals can all be managed via the Request to Pay framework as well as one-off requests.

When utilised, Request to Pay enable billers to make a request for a bill to be paid, and to communicate with their bill payers. Request to Pay gives people the opportunity to actively manage their bill payments. Billers can choose to give their bill payers more flexibility about how and when they make payment but Request to Pay does not change a bill payer’s legal payment obligations.

Once bill payers have signed up to a banking service, a biller can grant them access to Request to Pay through their organisation’s app.

There are a number of ways that billers can join the Request to Pay ecosystem:

  • Billers can work with an existing Request to Pay repository provider to onboard their bill payers and route their messages to them
  • Billers can set up their own repository rather than use a third party. This could remain focused on their own bill payers or could be offered to other billers in the form of ‘white-label’ marketing
  • Billers can also discuss with their banking partner and/or any technical services providers, the opportunity to provide a repository service for them
  • Because of the interoperability standards, billers and payers can communicate via Request to Pay even if they have signed up with different repository providers.
  • Request to Pay can help reduce costs, for example by giving billers the ability to send invoices as attachments, thus potentially reducing postal fees. It can also help facilitate direct communication with bill payers, potentially streamlining payment queries. It can further enable easy reconciliation of payments because billers will be setting the reference when requesting money
  • When utilised, Request to Pay allows bill payers and billers to communicate and agree optimal payment arrangements where the payer has cash flow problems
  • We would expect that bill payers prioritise payment to billers that use Request to Pay rather than those who simply send requests via post, email or text
  • This allows financially-vulnerable bill payers to avoid late payment charges and failed Direct Debit charges
  • As Request to Pay can reduce billers’ costs, billers could potentially reflect this in the pricing that they offer bill payers – similar to the benefits offered for using Direct Debit.
  • Similar services are not entirely open i.e. requests can only be sent to and from people using the same provider. This means the service only works if billers and bill payers are all working with the same supplier. Request to Pay is unique as it allows billers to send and receive requests, no matter whether the bill payer’s bank offers the service or not. It is payment agnostic and not a way to pay, although it can be embedded in a payment journey
  • Importantly, Request to Pay has the ability to reduce the risk of fraud, as it does not rely on text or email with insecure links that can be replicated by scammers.

Request to Pay is not a replacement for Direct Debit, but a complementary service:

  • Request to Pay can be used to offer existing Direct Debit users an advanced notice that a Direct Debit is due to be taken. This gives the bill payer the chance to ensure that enough funds are in their account, and thus avoids a failed Direct Debit payment and associated late payment management costs
  • Request to Pay can also be used to communicate with non-Direct Debit users, giving them options to manage their bill payments. As a secure digital channel, Request to Pay can help reduce bill management costs associated with call centres, in person payments, and payment reconciliation issues.
  • Request to Pay is designed with end-to-end security at its heart. Our accreditation approach, together with the mandated Request to Pay rules and standards, ensure that billers and payers are validated each time a message is sent. This ensures repository providers adhere to the Request to Pay rules and standards that ensure the integrity of the ecosystem
  • Trusted front-end application means no use of insecure email or text links
  • Bank details are prepopulated by the biller and flow through to the payment, so there is no risk of misdirected payments.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss how to get involved in Request to Pay, email

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