Connecting the future

Issue 182 | 11 October 2021

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The Emerging Payments Association announced its rebrand to The Payments Association during the EP Awards ceremony on the 6th October, with the name change taking effect throughout the month. The association has seen significant growth over the past few years and has increased its volume of members by 20% in the last year alone, welcoming names such as Nationwide, J.P. Morgan and KPMG to the community.

The new name reflects the breadth and diversity of payment businesses that are represented; unifying the entire ecosystem, catering for all things payments.

As our members have grown, so too have we, and this rebrand will serve to further enrich the opportunities for our members within the payments industry. The community that we have built since we were established is our most valuable asset and our aim in becoming The Payments Association is to empower the most influential community in payments, where the connections, collaborations and learning shape an industry that works for all.

Tony Craddock, Director General at the EPA

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Wires, walks, town, diggers and funders

My first experience of the City, banking and payments was in correspondent banking - this type of banking might be unknown to some so let’s start with a definition.

Investopedia describe correspondent banking as:

The term correspondent bank refers to a financial institution that provides services to another one—usually in another country. It acts as an intermediary or agent, facilitating wire transfers, conducting business transactions, accepting deposits, and gathering documents on behalf of another bank. Correspondent banks are most likely to be used by domestic banks to service transactions that either originate or are completed in foreign countries. Domestic banks generally use correspondent banks to gain access to foreign financial markets and to serve international clients without having to open branches abroad.

At the weekend I had lunch with a friend and I quickly found out he had been a ‘messenger’ at the London office of a big overseas financial institution at about the time I first arrived in the City - a time when CHAPS was the new kid on the block!

Our conversation quickly became peppered with phrases such as ‘wires’, ‘town’, ‘bankers payments’, ‘telexes’ and, of course, the ‘walks’ that formed a key part of the messengers daily routine - all phrases that have fallen out of use.

This conversation led me to recall some of my early roles in the UK’s payments landscape. The worst role I had was as a ‘digger’ (more about that another time) but one role was very relevant to the conversation we had - my role as a ‘funder’.

Read about the role of a ‘funder’ and ending the day ‘square’ and not ‘long’ or ‘short’:

Wires, walks, town, diggers and funders


Should banks be forced by law to supply cash to customers?

New Zealand banks could one day face laws requiring them to ensure their customers have adequate access to cash.

It's among the ideas that could help secure the future of banknotes and coins contained in an issues paper published by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

As fewer and fewer people make payments in cash, and banks close branches and reduce the numbers of ATMs , cash is seen as being under threat, and the Reserve Bank is exploring options for a redesign of the cash system.

Sound familiar?

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NatWest acquires pocket money app RoosterMoney

Do you remember Nigel Walsh’s guest blog on bank accounts for young people?

NatWest has acquired RoosterMoney, provider of a pocket money and financial education app for kids.

Launched in 2016, the RoosterMoney app loads pocket money onto a Visa debit card and allows parents to immediately freeze a card if it’s lost and block payments to specific merchants. It also gives parents and children real-time notifications on their spending and comes with a ‘contactless counter’ so children know how far away they are from having to next use their chip-and-pin.

We want NatWest to be the easiest and most useful bank for families and young people. Rooster have built a brilliant app with best-in-market features that we’re excited to offer to NatWest customers..

Simon Watson, Retail Banking at NatWest Group

Rooster has over 130,000 UK users and will be launched to NatWest customers in the coming months.


Consumer protection in interbank payments

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published the outcome of a review of protections available to consumers who make retail payments from one payment account directly to another.

The PSR have concluded:

As more and more of us are using digital payments to transfer funds directly from one bank account to another using interbank payment systems and particularly the Faster Payments Service (FPS), and with recent innovation in interbank payments, we wanted to be sure that existing consumer protections remain fit for purpose, particularly as the number of transactions processed by FPS is growing. We see part of that growth comes from new opportunities developed in Open Banking which allow consumers and businesses to use bank transfers for more varied purposes, including making retail purchases.

For the time being, we will not intervene to introduce additional purchase protection which isn’t yet provided for bank transfers. However, as we expect interbank retail payments to become more popular over time, it is imperative that businesses offering these services can identify payment risk levels and act quickly and responsibly to minimise customer harm if risk levels for interbank payments start to rise. We will keep a close eye on developments and intervene if necessary.

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HM Treasury: Payments Landscape Review

The HMT payments landscape review has just been published and outlines the government’s vision is for a payments sector at the forefront of technology and innovation.

Underpinning this vision are the government’s high-level aims for payments:

  • UK payments networks that operate for the benefit of end users, including consumers.

  • a UK payments industry that promotes and develops new and existing payments networks.

  • UK payments networks that facilitate competition by permitting open access to participants or potential participants on reasonable commercial terms.

  • UK payment systems that are stable, reliable and efficient.

In order to deliver this vision, the government has identified priority areas and actions for government, regulators and industry.

These are:

  • equipping Faster Payments for the future, supported by a New Payments Architecture that is world leading, and ensuring the right level of protection for consumers to address what happens when a payment goes wrong.

  • unlocking Open Banking enabled payments safely and securely to allow consumers to pay for goods and services in shops and online directly from their accounts, rather than using a debit or credit card, creating competition and choice between payments networks and enabling exciting opportunities for fintechs to build the next generation of payments.

  • enhancing cross-border payments so people and businesses can make and receive cross-border payments seamlessly, quickly and cheaply.

  • future-proofing the legislative and regulatory framework for payments to ensure it is agile and proportionate; promotes and fosters innovation; provides the conditions for technology to continue to drive enhancements in payments; and ensures consumer protection and that payments networks are resilient.

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What’s in a name? The story behind PayTo

Earlier this year, PayTo was revealed as the name for Australia’s New Payments Platform’s Mandated Payments Service – the new, digital way for merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts.

Hear Richard Curtis from FutureBrand discuss the process his organisation followed with NPP Australia to identify the PayTo moniker from a sea of possibilities. It’s a great listen for anyone who develops, names and markets products in the payments and financial services sectors.

Podcast:


I’m not trying to show off or anything

Raising awareness that switching your bank account is free, easy, and guaranteed is a top priority for Pay.UK so they have enlisted a team of Personal Finance TikTokers - or 'FinTokers'- to engage with 18-24 year olds and share educational content with their young audiences.

'gabriel.nussbaum' who has over 1m followers, is one of their partners - watch his video:

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When What’sApp, Instagram and Facebook are down (with an added note of caution)

Monzo seized the opportunity from last week’s social media outage:

When you transfer money to someone through the Monzo app, you can also send a private message. This makes it easy to say a quick 'thanks for dinner!' or 'sorry I broke your clothes horse, hope this is enough for a new one.'

So when Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook are down and you've forgotten how texting works, just use Monzo. All it takes is transferring 1p through the app to start a conversation with someone.

If everyone could just do that more often, our data team would really appreciate it. They've never seen such high spikes.

AI tool to root out abusive messages in transaction fields

However, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is implementing artificial intelligence technology and machine learning techniques to detect serial abusive behaviour in transaction descriptions within the CommBank App and Netbank.

The Australian bank last year acted to ban customers that used transaction description fields to send abusive messages, including threates to domestic abuse victims.

A study by the bank, prompted by disturbing messages in the account of a customer experiencing domestic and family violence, found that more than 8000 customers had received multiple low-value deposits, often of less than $1, with potentially abusive messages.


#SetYourselfFree

You can always count on Starling Bank’s marketing team to be creative - have you seen Starling Bank’s new advert yet?


ATM Tracker

Last week ATM Transactions decreased:

  • by 37% compared to the equivalent week in 2019

  • by 1% compared to the equivalent week in 2020

  • by 2% compared to the previous week in 2021

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Request to Pay: Simpler, safer and more empowering

Interested in Request to Pay but want to find out a little bit more?

Unpack RtP with four articles:

  • Pay by Link or Request to Pay?

  • Get to grips with Request to Pay

  • A.P.P to app: How to avoid email and text scams

  • Key facts about Request to Pay

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In brief:


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Thanks!

Mike