Indirect access

An organisation is considered to have indirect access to a payment system if they have a contractual arrangement with an indirect access provider that is an organisation which already has direct access to that payment system.

This method is also commonly known as ‘sponsored access’ or ‘agency banking’, and provides an alternative to direct participation.

An organisation accessing one or more payment system(s) through an indirect access provider is commonly known as an agency payment service provider (PSP), or indirect payment service provider (PSP).

Similar to direct participants, indirect PSPs have an obligation to abide by the relevant rules and regulations. Importantly, an indirect access provider offering sponsored access will support an indirect PSP in understanding its obligations, and how to comply with rules for processing payments.

To access payment services via this type of arrangement, you will need to engage with one or more of the existing indirect access providers to discuss the services they can offer your business.

The following organisations are currently indirect access providers offering sponsored access to the main UK payment systems:

  • Barclays
  • Clearbank
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Modulr
  • NatWest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Starling Bank
  • Ulster Bank

A voluntary code of conduct has also been introduced which sets out standards of best practice for key elements of the commercial arrangements between indirect access providers and indirect PSPs.