Westminster Business Forum

Payments policy and regulation - infrastructure, innovation and end user priorities

Morning, Thursday, 23rd January 2020

Central London


Regulation and the PSR’s Market Review into the supply of card-acquiring services

The seminar is timed to follow the publication of the PSR’s interim findings of its market review into the supply of card-acquiring service, which is expected to include proposals to address competition concerns, the fees paid by merchants and the quality of service they receive, and its subsequent impact on consumers.

The agenda include a keynote contribution from Chris Hemsley, Co-Managing Director, Payment Systems Regulator.

Delegates will consider the findings of the interim review and the potential measures that could be taken forward by the PSR to improve competition.

Further areas for discussion include what else is needed - including further options for UK policy and regulation - to:

  • Address issues remaining around the implementation of the Interchange Fee Regulation;
  • Ensure that potential savings are passed on from retailers to consumers; and
  • Improve competition and access in the UK payments system. 

Sessions also look at the potential impact of Brexit on UK payments regulation.

It comes with concerns that the existing regulatory framework may not be prepared to take on the responsibilities previously administered by the European Commission on payments regulation.    

The establishment of the New Payments Architecture and the renewal of the Real Time Gross Settlement    

The seminar comes with:

  • Pay.UK continuing the ongoing implementation of the merger of Bacs, the Faster Payment System and the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, which is expected to be finalised by 2024 as part of the New Payment Architecture (NPA); and
  • The Bank of England renewing the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), aimed at increasing security, resilience, and access.

Delegates will assess the progress made in establishing the New Payment Architecture as:

  • Pay.UK is expected to be undergoing contract negotiations, securing funding, establishing the project organisation, and IT and operational environment; and

  • The Bank of England undergoes its procurement phase for the build.

We expect discussion on how these projects can best work to ensure that the NPA and RTGS improve accessibility, competition and innovation.  

Innovation, access to payment services and the evolving landscape for UK payments

The seminar also comes at a time of significant change for the industry, consumers and businesses in light of the declining use of cash and the increasing role of digital payments.

It also comes as the Government commits to establishing a new working group which will aim to support access to cash and ensure that all current denominations remain in circulation, following its Cash and digital payments in the new economy consultation.

Delegates will look at the feasibility of ensuring access to cash services for under and un-banked consumers and digitally-excluded consumers, in light of changing ATM and bank branch coverage and changing consumer payment trends.       

Further sessions will discuss the opportunities afforded to the sector by new innovation such as AI, machine learning, big data, and open banking and how these can best be commercialised.     

Preventing payment fraud

The seminar follows the introduction of the Stronger Customer Authentication (SCA) as part of the Payment services (PSD 2), which is designed to reduce fraud and requires online payments to have a two-step authentication process.

The conference will consider the impact of SCA on online payments as the FCA phases in its enforcement action, following concerns that some ecommerce firms were not ready for the deadline and the impact that SCA is expected to have on the online payments process.   

Delegates will also look at what else needs to be done to tackle fraud, including push payment fraud, such as Confirmation of Payee and increasing consumer awareness of scams, while also ensuring that payments markets function efficiently.

Keynote Speaker

Paul Horlock

Chief Executive Officer, Pay.UK

Keynote Speakers

Chris Hemsley

Co-Managing Director, Payment Systems Regulator

Paul Horlock

Chief Executive Officer, Pay.UK


John Howells

Chief Executive Officer, Link

Lorence Nye

Senior Policy Advisor, Federation of Small Businesses

Genevieve Lloyd

Senior Campaigner, Which?

Hardik Shah

Group Head of Product, Currencies Direct