UK government seeks Open Banking launch for HMRC

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In what could be the biggest indication yet that Open Banking is getting real-life traction, the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued a government tender specifically tailored around the provision of Open Banking services.

The tender is worth £3 million, with the contract specifically pertaining to “Payments Initiation and Account Information Services”.

HMRC has indicated it wants people to pay it by bank transfer using a “secure, simple and efficient process”. This is seen by the industry as a huge step towards Open Banking payments offering fast, secure and cost effective payment solutions.

The bank transfer process at HMRC is currently “non-automated”. Any potential winner of the new contract would deliver “enhanced and tailored financial services”. All entrants to the tender are required to authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Payment Initiation Services (PIS) allow a user to pay companies directly from their bank accounts, rather than having to use the details on a debit or credit card.

In the latest release to market, HMRC says it is looking to reduce the amount of “resource intensive” customer errors it receives. “We believe we can encourage card payers to move to this more cost-effective method and subsequently reduce our payment associated costs significantly.”

The project is due to kick off in early 2021 with applications being accepted up until 7th September. The government is accepting up to 10 potential bidders for the £3 million contract.

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