NatWest claims UK’s first ‘non-sweeping’ payments through VRP

Ellie Duncan
27 May 2022

UK bank NatWest Group has made the UK’s first-ever variable recurring payments (VRP) for ‘non-sweeping’ use cases.

It follows its announcement earlier this month that it had signed agreements with three payment providers – GoCardless, TrueLayer and Crezco – to begin offering VRPs as a new payment option for businesses and consumers.

This makes it the first UK bank to go beyond the Competition and Markets Authority’s requirement for banks to provide VRP in support of sweeping, where money is automatically transferred between accounts belonging to the same person.

The first non-sweeping VRP payments were made by NatWest customers to Charity Right, an international charity, and lettings software provider Pink Chilli, and were supported by Charity Right’s integration with GoCardless and by Pink Chilli’s integration with TrueLayer.

Sajad Mahmood, CEO of Charity Right, said: “We’re delighted to be the charity partner in this innovative trial with GoCardless and NatWest. Recurring donations are the lifeblood of charities and VRPs will enable our supporters to give regularly, in a way that works for them.”

Duncan Barrigan, chief product officer and chief growth officer at GoCardless, said that the “market-first pilot” is the “first step in making VRPs part of everyday life”.

The bank’s new VRP offering enables payment providers to give businesses a new option for managing customer payments for a range of services, including utility bills, subscriptions and charitable donations.

“This is another significant day for the UK payments industry and made ‘account on file’ a reality,” said Jana Reid, senior product partnership manager at TrueLayer.

“We’re proud to be leading the industry with NatWest, who have gone beyond the regulatory requirements for VRP and, as a result, enabled us to collaborate with clients across a broad range of use cases. Pink Chilli, for example, has embraced VRP to benefit from a faster, more secure and lower cost alternative to Direct Debit and debit cards for collecting rental payments.”

Previously, NatWest announced its plans to pilot VRP through its Open Banking payments proposition Payit, by offering VRP as a payment option for NatWest ‘rapid cash’ customers in the first half of 2022.

Head of Bank of APIs at NatWest Group, Daniel Globerson, added: “As a relationship bank for a digital world, we’re committed to offering innovative and convenient payment methods to businesses and consumers.

“We’re delighted that our customers are now experiencing the benefits of VRP, and we’re proud to see organisations, such as Charity Right, using VRP to manage charitable donations.”