The Payments Association issues manifesto to maintain UK as ‘leader’

Ellie Duncan
05 Oct 2023

The Payments Association has called for cross-industry data sharing to counter Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud and has identified policies to encourage adoption of account-to-account (A2A) payments, in a new manifesto.

The Payments Manifesto has been published by the Payments Association ahead of the next general election, in which it sets out a number of policy suggestions to protect the UK as a global payments “leader”.

It follows the announcement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt earlier this year of a review into the future of payments in the UK, led by Joe Garner.

Tony Craddock, director general of The Payments Association, said: “Our aim is for the UK payments industry to lead the world in providing innovative solutions that satisfy consumer and business needs, as well as, through the economic contribution our industry makes to the UK, be a driver of social wellbeing and economic growth.”

Tony Craddock

The Payment Association’s Tony Craddock

“This vital piece of work is our declaration to industry stakeholders that we’ll achieve this aim while also providing the UK’s political parties with policy suggestions for their own manifestos, ahead of the next general election,” he added.

The manifesto has established three top pledges, including tackling fraud and scams, encouraging A2A payments in the UK, and an “innovative approach” to regulation and standards.

To counter APP fraud, the Payments Association has called for cross-industry data sharing among financial institutions, large technology firms and merchants, as well as a review of the plans of near-guaranteed payouts to victims of fraud and a 50/50 liability split between the sending and receiving institution.

The manifesto identifies that “recent changes to regulations and in the institutions behind account-to-account payments have stalled”. It wants to see several policies implemented as a result, including developing a system for Open Banking payments that provides “appropriate consumer protection and a dispute resolution service that protects all Open Banking stakeholders, supported by the appropriate economic model”.

When it comes to regulation and standards, the Payments Manifesto states the need to see support for the current work being done by the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee (JROC) to create a “competitive and sustainable” Open Banking ecosystem that delivers alternative payment options for merchants.

It would also like to see the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payments Systems Regulator encouraged to “employ a more measured, proportionate approach to regulating payments firms” that is “agile and flexible”, to enable innovation and attract investment in the UK payments industry.

The manifesto urges the government to hold the FCA to account for providing high standards and consistent supervision of electronic money institutions and payment institutions.

“We want to help the UK to create world-leading regulation in payments managed by a dynamic, accountable and fair regulator that can balance business growth with consumer protection and best-of-breed standards,” said Craddock.

Finally, on the topic of digital currencies, Craddock added that the manifesto establishes a “clear vision for a globally interoperable digital currencies ecosystem to foster a future where we are all going to transact more digitally, making use of modern technology”.

Riccardo Tordera-Ricchihead of policy and government relations at The Payments Association, talked about the role of regulation in the growth and development of the UK payment services sector, during a Westminster Business Forum policy conference.