All Payments, One Point of Access

21. May 2018.

The payments industry, with its web of facilitators can be complex. The UK has taken steps to make it a little less confusing with a new capability for banks to access multiple payment systems including checks cards, Faster Payment and ACH through a single platform with the purpose of great ease of access and to focus the investment in future improvements. As reported in Euromoney:

Paul Thomalla, senior vice president, corporate relations and development, at payment systems company ACI Worldwide, says the move will pull together a number of processes and operate as a super-utility: “NSPO is a consolidation of many schemes. The multitude of different platforms including card, cheques, accounts clearing house (ACH) and Faster Payments, are all managed from one location.”

It would seem that the management of all payments by a single operator would diminish competition and the introduction of new technology, but the expectation is just the opposite:

“Having one point of access makes it easier to open up the space to new competitor banks and bring more competition into the payments space. It will be easier for them to access the existing payments rails and be selective about which elements they want to work on.” The number of options available to these new players may well demonstrate how unwieldly the payments process has become. Thomalla says: “The change is overdue, and in some ways exposes the level of confused legacy platforms that they have had to replace. The system should operate along the lines of forcing updates every few years, rather than allowing years-old operations to continue unabated.”

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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