The launch of a new utilities style regulator has forced the UK’s leading payments body to shift from acting as the industry’s self-regulating body into a new trade association that will work closely with the regulator to advance the causes of the domestic payments industry. The UK Payments Council will become Payments UK and despite successful roll out of mobile payments tool Paym, the Current Account Switch Service and Faster Payments its status will remain secondary to the regulator.
Commenting on the news, Maurice Cleaves, chief executive of the newly branded Payments UK said,
“In a matter of years, the sector has been transformed from just a handful of players to many hundreds and the regulatory agenda has changed significantly. Payments UK is set up to enable the industry to navigate through such change. Over the coming months Payments UK will report on the industry’s World Class Payments project, which sets out a vision of what payments of tomorrow could look like if they are built on customers’ needs.”
While the new body has announced that full and associate members have already expressed interest in joining the new trade association, there is no doubt that the body’s influence is diminished. However, Payments UK can still play an important role in harmonizing the industry’s voice and help the new regulator get off the ground in the right way. Thus Payments UK might be weaker than the UK Payments Council but the industry at large will be stronger.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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