Bank accounts through the eyes of a nine year old, what have banks learnt over the last decade (and other payment stories)

Issue 58 | 19 October 2020

Welcome to issue 58 of Payments, Payments, Payments: in this edition we read a nine year old’s review of junior bank accounts, LINK share their view on cash and financial inclusion, we revisit 2010 and consider what banks have learnt over the last decade, we learn ten things about the new Request to Pay service and we bring instant remittances and automatic reconciliation together.

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Mobile banking app review - junior edition

Mark O’Keefe’s (Founding director at Optima Consultancy and PSR Panel member) nine year old daughter has produced her own version of the Optima Consultancy banking app review, Amy’s review covers junior accounts.

Which account does she think a child would say is best out of goHenry, Starling Bank, Revolut and RoosterMoney and why?

What advice does she have for Anne Boden for Starling Kite and what is Revolut missing?

She's tested them all and produced a report you can download for free from the Optima Consulting site at

If you like what you read, Amy is raising money to help her school promote financial literacy as well as mental and physical wellbeing. Any donations amounts are gratefully received:

Emerging Payments Association interview: John Howells, LINK

The current crisis has shown that, even with the shock of a pandemic, there is a very persistent requirement for cash, which is far beyond lack of access to bank accounts, as we learned during an engaging conversation with John Howells, CEO of LINK Scheme Ltd, a company committed to maintaining free access to cash across the UK.

John shared his views on how LINK contributes towards financial inclusion, the main factors still driving cash usage in the UK, the challenges and prospects of a cashless society and exciting industry developments including central bank digital currencies. John also highlighted the industry need for a vision that reflects how we move the UK to a digital economy and “an orderly transition for all consumers to digital payments in a way which maintains good economic performance and inclusion.”

Watch: Emerging Payments Association interview with John Howells, CEO, LINK.

2010 revisited: Banks have learnt how to not leave their customers behind

Finextra have looked back at some of the predictions and forecasts made in 2010 and picked through what other lessons can be learnt from the post-financial crisis world to inform strategy in the not dissimilar economic environment of today.

Marion King, director of payments at Natwest, tells Finextra Research that before the financial crisis, banks were “striving to be the biggest and they left their customers behind”.

Now, however, she believes customers are placed at the heart of everything banks do, and they have learnt to think and work more creatively in order to serve them.

Read Marion’s insights: 2010 revisited: Banks have learnt how to not leave their customers behind.

Ten things you should know about the new Request to Pay (RtP) service from Pay.UK

Request to Pay is a secure messaging service framework launched on 29th May 2020. It is an overlay on top of existing payments infrastructure as a new flexible way to manage and settle bills between businesses and organisations as well as among friends.

For each ‘request’, the payer will be able to pay in full, pay in part, ask for more time or decline to pay and begin a dialogue with the requester. It gives more control to the person being asked to pay, but it also gives the Biller all the information they will need to reconcile the payment when it arrives.

Learning from Direct Debit and Current Account Switching Service, RtP will have its own service mark which will be used by accredited repositories and front end providers:

Now find out ten things you need to know about Request to Pay.

Bringing instant remittances and automatic reconciliation together

UK Payments fintech Ordo announce strategic distribution partnership with e-money platform, Contis. Ordo is making getting paid easy – helping businesses securely and simply collect bank payments from their customers. 

No hidden fees. No hassle. No worries.

Open Banking is a game changer for businesses, not so much the technology, but what that technology means – no more waiting around for funds to appear in your account, no more late nights spent reconciling payments, no more hidden fees and high charges just to earn your income…with Ordo, there’s a new business normal that sees the business winning, with improved cash flow, lower costs, and service that makes it easy for their customers too. The world is full of instant on-the-go solutions with real-time notifications and updates, it’s time payments caught up with this, and by partnering with Contis, we can make even more business lives easier.

Fliss Berridge, Co-Founder, Ordo

More: Bringing instant remittances and automatic reconciliation together.

An opportunity to contribute

HM Treasury Payments Landscape Review

In light of rapid technological developments, HM Treasury published a Payments Landscape Review four months ago, announcing also a Call for Evidence as the first stage in the review:

The Call for Evidence sets out the government’s aims for payments networks in the UK, makes a high-level assessment of how well the current system is delivering against the government’s aims and asks questions about the opportunities and risks that need to be addressed.

It has been my please to support the EPA in preparing a response to HM Treasury’s Review - have you considered responding?

Consultation closes: 11:59PM 20 October 2020.

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Payment Systems Regulator Strategic Review

What role does the PSR play to ensure that competition is effective at all levels of the payments chain? 

Hear Chris Hemsley (PSR Managing Director) introduce the PSR’s second strategic review theme of competition:

The three themes of the strategy review are:

  • Theme 1 Future Strategy.

  • Theme 2 – Competition: What role does the PSR play to ensure that competition is effective at all levels of the payments chain? 

  • Theme 3 – Choice and availability of payment methods: How does the PSR ensure that enough options are available to allow all people and businesses to make the payments they need and want to make?

More: Payment Systems Regulator Strategic Review

HM Treasury Access to Cash Review

HM Treasury have announced that they are consulting on access to cash: Access to Cash Call for evidence.

In brief

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