Charting a course amid evolution and revolution

Issue 145 | 13 July 2021

Reimbursement lottery for bank transfer scam victims must end

People who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster should have similar protections to crime victims whose money is stolen from their bank account without their knowledge, according to Which?

We agree that more needs to be done and we firmly believe that a regulated code, backed by legislation, is the most effective answer so that consumer protections apply consistently across the banking industry.

Katy Worobec, UK Finance

The consumer group argues that the way banks apply a voluntary reimbursement code when people are tricked into making an authorised bank transfer to a fraudster is “riddled with chronic problems”, and victims are not getting the safeguards they need.

Which? said the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) should be given new powers to make it mandatory for all firms to reimburse customers who have acted appropriately.

We are working with Government to address the gaps we see in our powers which will help us address the issues around a lack of mandatory protection.

PSR

This would mean standards of protections would be similar to unauthorised fraud, such as when someone loses money after their identity is stolen, where there are clear expectations on when customers should get their money back.

More: Belfast Telegraph article - Reimbursement lottery for bank transfer scam victims must end.


Interacting with current accounts in a post-pandemic era

Jo-Anne Ainsley (Pay.UK) has been featured in Your Money talking about how COVID has changed the relationship between banks and customers.

The pandemic has impacted core parts of our lives, none more so than our finances. From shifts in employment to changing spending habits, our attitudes to money are not the same as they once were.

Jo suggests that nowhere is this more evident than with current accounts. As the channel through which we receive our salaries, transfer money to friends and budget finances, current accounts, and the way we interact with them, can offer wider insights into how we navigate our finances in this changed world.

Towards the end of last year, the Current Account Switch Service, owned and operated by Pay.UK, the home of UK retail payments, commissioned research to understand how we’re now using our current accounts. Pay.UK saw significant shifts that ultimately will impact the banks we’re choosing as priorities change.

In a market where there are fewer financial incentives to switch, banks must consider shifting attitudes, including nuances between different groups, to retain customers and appeal to new ones.

More from Pay.UK: Interacting with current accounts in a post-pandemic era


Would you be affected if we became a cashless society?

It’s always good to get a different perspective on the transition to a digital payment society. Good Housekeeping have been exploring the pros & cons of how coronavirus has changed the use of cash.

Bella Thorpe-Woods’ article considers the impact of being cashless by focussing on:

  • How coronavirus has affected the use of cash

  • The pros and cons of a cashless society

  • Who will be most affected if we become a cashless society.

  • What the experts say about the UK becoming a cashless society

More: Good Housekeeping - would you be affected?


Around the world in Request to Pays

The world is waking up to Request to Pay (R2P) as the answer to convenient and affordable digital bill payments. Request to Pay has arrived and is expanding globally.

Request to Pay has become a global movement with significant ground being made in those markets that have deployed early. Whilst conceptually these territory-specific deployments all have in common secure messaging to apps rather than email or SMS, they also have fundamental differences.

It means banks, PSPs and other large multinationals looking for a simple roll-out will need a technology partner that can supply a single point of integration across these standards and handle the complexity of translating the messages.

More: Around the world in Request to Pays.


Request to Pay: Value Added Services

Akhil Rao has been looking at value added services for Request to Pay:

More: RtP Value Added services by Akhil Rao.


Supporting consumers through increased flexibility

Pay.UK have been promoting the benefits of Direct Debit for household bill payments.

As the country edges towards some sort of normality and businesses return to a more recognisable way of working, there’s an opportunity for organisations to consider how they can further support their customers in these challenging times.

While the last year or so has provided an unexpected, although perhaps unwelcome, chance for some to top-up savings pots, for others it has proved increasingly uncertain with many household budgets coming under added pressure.

There are some simple options that could be a welcome bonus for those customers finding financial life a little more strained in current times; a choice of payment options and ways to sign-up, the chance to settle large bills or pay for bigger ticket items in instalments, or the freedom to choose a payment date that suits them.

The benefits of Direct Debit for household bill payments are well documented for both biller and bill payer – cheaper and easier for both to manage and, for the customer, the added security of the protection afforded by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

But, that’s not all. The option for businesses to offer payment dates which suit their customers is also an important consideration, and could make all the difference in helping people more easily manage their finances.

More from Pay.UK: Getting started with Direct Debit.

More from Access PaySuite: Improving subscription renewal rates.


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Pandemic drives annual surge in account to account payments and contactless transactions in UK (via Finextra)

During 2020 the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 12% to 9.6 billion payments, with the pandemic driving a mass-market switch away from physical cash.

The latest figures from UK Finance show that overall, contactless payments accounted for more than a quarter of all UK payments. In the last four years tap-and-go transactions have jumped from being just seven per cent of all payments to 27%.

The pandemic resulted in some marked changes in payments behaviour and while it’s too early to say whether they are permanent changes, we did see an acceleration in some existing trends such as the reduction in cash usage and the growth in contactless and mobile payments.

David Postings, CEO, UK Finance.

Finextra report on the growth in account-to-account payments, with 54% of all business-to-business payments made via Faster Payments. The instant payment rail notched up a 21% increase in volumes year-on-year.

It seems more businesses - and even some consumers - are catching on to the benefits associated with account-to-account payments, such as greater convenience, reduced churn and significantly lower costs compared to cards.

It seems more businesses - and even some consumers - are catching on to the benefits associated with account-to-account payments, such as greater convenience, reduced churn and significantly lower costs compared to cards.

As open banking payments - which are built on Faster Payment rails - grow in popularity, we expect a credible challenge to the dominance of cards. You only have to look at a case like the Netherlands, with its account-to-account iDEAL payment system now used for more than half of eCommerce transactions, to see the opportunity when this payment form comes to full maturity.

Siamac Rezaiezadeh, director of product marketing, GoCardless

More: Pandemic drives annual surge in A2A payments and contactless transactions in UK.


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Longer Read: Payments 2025 and beyond

Payments 2025 and beyond - navigating the payments matrix and charting a course amid evolution and revolution by PWC.

PWC report that the financial services industry is in the midst of a significant transformation, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And given the key role digitisation plays in the financial lives of more and more of the world’s population, electronic payments are at the epicentre of this transformation.

Payments are becoming increasingly cashless, and the industry’s role in fostering inclusion has become a significant priority. Payments also are supporting the development of digital economies and are driving innovation — all while functioning as a stable backbone for our economies. 

PWC’s report launches their 2025 and Beyond series which focuses on the payments industry and the key themes that are influencing it. PWC state that how the industry responds to these trends will define how successful it is in the coming years and its impact on society overall.

More: Charting a course amid evolution and revolution.