Friday, September 21st, 2018
U.K’s Faster Payments scheme got underway in 2008 and became a game changer. At that time, it was Britain’s new payment avenue in almost two decades when just 35% of consumers in the U.K had used online banking. Today, 65% of U.K citizens bank online.
In fact, over the last decade, more scheme members have joined the system raising the number from 13 to 21 as merchants and consumers demand faster payment options even more. Changing consumer and retailer demands have led to the formation of new services that use the payments rail.
The Need for speed
Marion King, the director of NatWest Payments, said Faster Payments Scheme’s had earned the buyer’s trust by ensuring convenience thus enabling banks to launch more products and services to boost it.
Her company hosts several payment services that use the rail. One of its solutions uses mobile banking to send funds to linked accounts. NatWest also plans to launch another rail-based service that will enable both web-based and in-store consumers to pay through instant bank transfers by simply clicking a button instead of keying in account or card details.
“Now a decade old, the Payments scheme has provided a platform and a group of customers who prefer Faster Payments due to its track record,” the director said.
With the rail, customers can see transactions show on their accounts straight away. Merchants, in the meantime, enjoy a cheaper solution than taking cards and faster cash flow, motivating them to expand their bottom line.
According to King, the benefit of an alternative solution to card payments cuts across businesses of all sizes. The fees tied to Cards bite a large chunk out of the small revenue restaurants and coffee shops make. And for high-end retailers, the fee percentage takes away thousands of dollars, making them even more reluctant to start transacting card payments.
King took part in the forum that ended with the assignment of the NPSO as the new watchdog for U.K Faster Payment and other national payment schemes. She believes that unifying systems will encourage a more uniform approach to the country’s payments. Part of the strategy looks to do so by setting industry best practices, messaging standards, and upgrading different payment solutions.
Moving Across Borders
At the same time, talks are underway to move Faster Payments across borders. The company dreams of a perfect, instant and integrated payment system connecting countries in real-time. That, according to King, will mean talking banks all over the world to adhere to a standard system of messaging.