Genuine 2020 £10 note, Mint. Offers. Flash fiction, trackers and imperatives

Issue 64 | 3 November 2020

Welcome to issue 64 of Payments, Payments, Payments, my newsletter centres on getting to grips with the UK’s retail payments landscape with exclusive payment insights, hot topic briefings and fundamentals unpacked.

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Current Account Switching - winners and losers

The Q3 2020 Current Account Switching Service (CASS) dashboard has just been published.

In this latest dashboard we find out how many of us transferred our bank account in Q3 2020 and who the switching winners and losers were during the COVID lockdown in Q2 2020.

With just 777,000 switches over the last twelve months it is clear that the COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the number of consumers switching their bank account.

This reduction was particularly apparent during the Q2 lockdown period where it appears that banks with a solid digital proposition and smooth digital on-boarding process made significant gains.

Pleasingly, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the day to day operation of the service by Pay.UK (and its providers) and the participating brands remained robust and to published service guarantees were met.

The redirection of payments from ‘old’ to ‘new’ accounts has provided its worth with over 101 million payments being ‘repaired’ since launch with no impact to the submitter or the receiver of the payment. Whilst the argument to ensure a payment follows a clean journey this form of ‘masking’ is proving to be a real asset to the trust and confidence of the overall switching service

Q2 switches saw a lot of participants with net overall loses but ‘hats off’ to Starling, Monzo, Nationwide, Triodos and Bank of Scotland for achieving net gains.

A first time at the top of the charts for Starling and proof that niche banks like Triodos can snatch accounts from the bigger players.

Click here for the full story on the latest Current Account Switching Service and a top 20 roll call of the winning and losing banks.

Click here for the role incentives are playing in encouraging switching.

Flash fiction competition

For sale: baby shoes, never worn." is the entirety of what has been described as a six-word story, making it an extreme example of what is called flash fiction or sudden fiction. Although it is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, the link to him is unsubstantiated and similar stories predate him.

How would you explain “digital payments” in six words?

Two of my favourite contributions are:

Genuine 2020 £10 note, Mint. Offers.



Value Transfer: Online. Embedded. Instant. Done.


Post your contribution in the thread at: flash fiction competition.

Best description wins a book from the Northey Point bookshop.


Over the past two weeks we have developed an launched four new payments trackers:

  • ATM Tracker: Providing weekly ATM value and volume figures.

  • Payments Tracker: Providing a monthly round up of volumes and values of retail payments in the UK.

  • Switching Tracker: Providing a quarterly update in the Current Account Switching Service performance dashboard.

  • Developments tracker focussing on Pay.UK, PSR, BoE and HMT: Providing a fortnightly briefing of payment related developments at Pay.UK, the Payments System Regulator, the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

Payment Imperatives

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) have commenced a strategic review and are currently in a pre-consultation phase.

At the centre of this review the PSR are asking “What role does the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) play to ensure that competition is effective at all levels of the payments chain?

Based on the PSR’s three themes, my initial thoughts on what is most important for the future of payments are:

1: That digital payment options are inclusive, equitable and accessible for all in society.

2: That the regulatory authorities agree a clear stagey for the managed decline in cash use – preserving cash for cash sake will, ultimately, only serve to leave some in society behind. This focus should include ensuring a sustainable cash distribution network for the period of the decline that isn’t unfairly cross subsidised by other payment methods.

3: The review should explore how Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC’s) should fit within the payment mix both as a store of value and a method of payment.

4: The review should consider a payments eco-system that includes the opportunities presented by Open Banking (…Open Data … Open Everything) at the centre rather than a peripheral activity.

5: The review should seek to learn from missed opportunities of the past. For example the cheque replacement ‘strategy’ that, in reality, led to the reinvention of the cheque payment instrument through the development of an expensive imaging service against a backdrop of cheques not being accepted by many and volumes currently decreasing by 16% per annum (12 months to August 2020).

6: Given that fraud is, unfortunately, prevalent in our society and payments are not immune to this ill, it is important that fraud mitigation initiatives are central to both the design of payment methods and any strategy. It is important that fraud protection initiatives consider both pre and post events of any payment journey.

7: As the UK moves towards a digital payment society it is important that citizens and companies can see clear benefits in new payment methods and chose to adopt them rather than being forced from one payment instrument to another.

8: Digital payments offer the opportunity for friction free and hassle free payments, it is important that when looking at payments we consider the full transaction journey rather than solely focus on the payments leg.

I’m sure these views will evolve and mature during the PSR’s strategy review process.

Make sure that you are part of the debate and share your views – the PSR call to action is at: PSR Strategy.

Round-up: Developments at Pay.UK, PSR, BoE and HMT

Just as getting to grips with the UK’s retail payments landscape can be a complex and daunting task, keeping up with the developments at Pay.UK, the Payments System Regulator, the Bank of England and HM Treasury can be a difficult and time consuming task.

To compliment our ATM tracker, payments tracker and switching tracker Premium subscribers of the Payments, Payments, Payments newsletter receive a fortnightly briefing of payment related developments at Pay.UK, the Payments System Regulator, the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

In addition to providing fortnightly industry developments the Premium newsletter also provides exclusive payment insights, payment hot topic briefings and unpacks payment fundamentals.

The Premium option is currently just £4 a month or £40 per annum and comes with a 100% refund guarantee if you are not happy with the Premium subscription version of the newsletter.

For more information visit Industry development round up.

Exploring Central Bank Digital Currencies in manageable chunks

More than 70% of institutions are actively researching and developing proofs of concept for Central Bank Digital Currencies but what are CBDC’s and how will they play their part in the future of money?

But first, what is a central bank digital currency?

Let Marc Rubenstein explain:

So what is a central bank digital currency?

It’s electronic, it exists as a digital object, and it’s backed by a central bank.

So it’s like cash, except it’s electronic; and it’s like Bitcoin, except it’s central bank backed.

In another new development I have launched the Digital Fiat newsletter.

Digital Fiat is an independent insight into the global development of CBDC’s – exploring developments in manageable chunks with a special focus on how a CBDC might emerge in the UK.

Subscribe to Digital Fiat

Content and Promptions

This week we’ve also launched an option to place content, promotions or adverts both in the Payments, Payments, Payments newsletter and on - for more info check out Content & Promotions.

Or purchase a content / promotion spot or place an advert direct: purchase now.

This week….

We’ve teamed up with Trilo

A great way to pay using Open Banking is with Trilo.

Trilo: The simplest way to pay

Trilo is the simplest way to pay, with a couple of taps you’re done, and get a Boost everytime.

Merchants receive their money in minutes and can say goodbye to transaction fees. Unlocking revenue that’s normally lost to card fees, which they can instead give to you as a Boost.

Trilo uses a simple subscription and using Open Banking circumvents cards. This subscription is gauged off of the number of customers a merchant has each month, not the value or the cost. Opening up previously locked possibilities for growth.

As part of Trilo’s launch they have partnered up with Make It Wild, a team in Yorkshire who are rewilding and reforesting vast areas. Fixing climate change is a key pillar to Trilo’s mission. Every merchant who joins the network, they’ll be planting a tree.

Trilo are launching their alpha early phase and you can join Trilo and do some good at the same time.

With Trilo’s Alpha, you'll be able to Fund a Tree for a Fiver, to help give climate change a kick in the teeth.

Extra bonus: When you experience Open Banking with Trilo and fund a tree for a fiver with Make It Wild you’ll also get a complimentary three month subscription to the ‘Payments, Payments, Payments’ newsletter.

Find out more: Joining Trilo takes seconds, funding a tree lasts for centuries.

In brief

  • Sunday’s Dash For Cash: After the announcement of a second lockdown in England on Sunday (1st November) saw a dash for cash with an 18% increase to £174m in the value of cash taken from LINK ATMs when compared to the previous Sunday - dash for cash.

  • Banking on IT: How I Disrupted an Industry by Anne Boden. After a lengthy career at the top of some of Britain’s leading banks Anne Boden had become disillusioned with the status quo – the financial crash had broken trust in the whole sector but there seemed to be little appetite to make the most of emerging technologies to revolutionise customer experience. Increasingly frustrated with the inertia within the industry she decided to shake things up herself by doing something totally radical – setting up her own bank. Order via the Northey Point Bookstore. Also, read Liz Lumley’s thoughtful piece: Anne and Tom – My part in their breakup

  • HM Treasury Payments Landscape Review - a community response. The Emerging Payments Association (EPA) has published a paper containing the community’s responses to HM Treasury’s Payments Landscape Review: Call for Evidence. The paper details recommendations on how to ensure the UK’s payments industry becomes progressive, world-leading and secure, and effective at serving the needs of everyone who pays and gets paid. The paper describes some of the opportunities and challenges facing payments firms, including macro factors such as Brexit and changing regulations in the European Union (EU) to industry developments such as Open Banking and ISO202022. Furthermore, the consultation response details how technology-enabled developments like Central Bank Digital Currencies and QR-Code enabled payment platforms are enjoying widespread adoption in Asia. Download: HM Treasury Payments Landscape Review - a community response.

  • Blank debit cards: BBVA has gone to extreme lengths to demonstrate the safety of its new line of 'blank' payment cards by publicly displaying the card issued to the bank's head of marketing on a billboard in Madrid's busiest shopping street. More: blank cards.

  • Recycled debit cards: Danske Bank is to phase out all existing payment cards and replace them with cards made from 86% recycled plastic. More: Recycled debit cards.

  • The Bank of England has published the CHAPS & RTGS ISO20022 migration: revised approach and final schemas document. The migration will take place in 2022. But the implementation date is moved from April to June. Also only a like-for-like-approach will be allowed at this point. More: BoE ISO20022.

  • Access to cash: Read about the work the Payment Systems Regulator is doing with the FCA and the University of Bristol to build a comprehensive picture of access to cash around the UK. More PSR: Access to cash.


  • We're all getting bigger! Bulk upload smart requests for payment with Ordo. Tutorial.

  • Trilo is the simplest way to pay - just select your bank, tap pay and get a Boost every time - product hunt.

To place an advert direct: purchase now.

Read, subscribe and share

Getting to grips with the UK’s retail payments landscape can seem a complex and daunting task.

The Payments, Payments, Payments newsletter from Mike Chambers at Northey Point explores a wide range of the UK’s payment news including: Open Banking, Request to Pay, Direct Debit, Confirmation of Payee, Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments, LINK, cash, cards and cheques and unpacks the eco-system that supports the operation of these systemically important payment systems.

The newsletter is an independent and informed insight into the UK’s payments landscape – exclusive payment insights, hot topic briefings and fundamentals unpacked.

Join the rapidly growing number of subscribers and navigate the UK’s payments landscape with former Bacs CEO Mike Chambers.