Developing a new standard

Any external party can, at any time, submit a proposal for a new messaging standard to Pay.UK. Development of a new technical messaging standard – and the associated materials for example schema, implementation guides etc. – will go through the following four stage process.

An implementation guide describes how the data elements in a standard are to be used by participants to ensure that the standard is implemented in a consistent way. The implementation guide is a standard technical specification widely used by other payment system operators to ensure a homogenous implementation.

Pay.UK requests that any external party wishing to undertake a standards development contact us in the first instance to have an initial conversation prior to the process being undertaken.

Stage 1: Proposal phase

This first stage involves both Pay.UK and all relevant external stakeholders focusing on ensuring the appropriateness of the new standard. The proposal phase seeks to assess the justification for the new standard and how it would work in practice. The proposer will be required to submit, at a minimum, the following:

  • The business rationale
  • The standard’s scope
  • The role of each party in the development
  • The resources required
  • The materials that will be produced
  • The timescales envisaged
  • Any potential approvals required.

This list is not exhaustive and may also require additional information to be submitted.

Based on the information received, a decision will then be made by Pay.UK (with support from the Industry Standards Coordination Committee), about whether to proceed with development or not. In effect, the proposal phase is the key gateway for the development of a new standard.

The Industry Standards Coordination Committee is the lead reference group to the Standards Authority. The Standards Authority will work closely with the ISCC covering the development, maintenance and modification of Pay.UK standards, including direction, advice and guidance on matters.

A proposal will be accepted at the proposal stage if it clearly meets the initial submission requirements. It will then be assessed by the Standards Authority to determine the viability of the proposal with input from relevant stakeholders to validate the assessment and to inform the consensus for support or rejection of the proposal; this may involve a public consultation if the impact of the new standard is deemed significant.

Viability may be impacted by a range of factors including technical impact, coherence with other implemented standards, strength of the justification, overall impact to Pay.UK and or the domestic or global standards landscape.

For either an approval or rejection at this stage, the proposal and decision will be documented and stored by Pay.UK.

An appeal may be raised by any relevant party related to scope, processes and decision making of Pay.UK and the Industry Standards Coordination Committee. An appeal shall identify its originator and not be filled on behalf of unnamed third parties. More information on the appeals process is found below.

An appeal shall be made in writing and sent in the first instance to the Standards Authority. The submitter shall state only facts about their Appeal, removing subjective opinions or bias. The Appeal should provide a brief summary of the facts and shall include detail about any attempts made to resolve the issue. It should propose how the submitter expects the issue would be best addressed and what outcome is sought. The SA will provide the originator an acknowledgement of the appeal. The appeal shall be resolved following the Pay.UK appeal processes.

Stage 2: Development stage

The second stage, focuses on the development of the standard itself. It is informed by the technical considerations and includes the development of the standard and associated documentation.

Throughout this stage, it will be important to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders are involved at the right time. There may also be a need to work closely with the Community of Developers, the Bank of England, the Industry Standards Coordination Committee and other fora at appropriate juncture to ensure a baseline level of ongoing consultation is conducted.

Stage 3: Approval stage

The third stage focuses on the governance process and approvals for the standard by Pay.UK and any other key stakeholders (e.g. Bank of England as operator of CHAPS and Real Time Gross Settlement).

Stage 4: Publication stage

Once all necessary approvals have been received, the fourth stage is when the standard is published publicly by Pay.UK on Standard Source and any other appropriate and agreed medium as specified at the proposal stage.