Payments regulatory news, August 2020

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Recent regulatory developments focussed on the payments sector. See also our General regulatory news in the Related Materials links.

Contents

  • Payments landscape review: HM Treasury call for evidence
  • PSR launches new future strategy

Payments landscape review: HM Treasury call for evidence

HM Treasury has published a call for evidence as part of the payments landscape review. The call for evidence is the first stage in the review, which was announced in June 2019.

A payment network describes the entirety of participants, processes and systems, and the links between them, which constitute the process for transmitting money from a payer to the payee using any particular payment instrument. It describes the entire chain from payer to payee. For example, payments made by card form a single payment network for that method of payment.

The call for evidence sets out the government's aims for payments networks in the UK:

  • UK payments networks need to operate for the benefit of end users, including consumers;
  • the payments industry should promote and develop new and existing payments networks;
  • UK payments networks should facilitate competition by permitting open access to participants or potential participants on reasonable commercial terms; and
  • UK payment systems must be stable, reliable and efficient.

The call for evidence seeks feedback on these objectives, asking what the industry, regulators and government need to do to better meet the objectives. The government is keen to ensure that the UK maintains its status as a country at the "cutting edge" of payments technology.

The call for evidence closes on 20 October 2020. A related webpage explains how to submit responses. Following the call for evidence, the government will provide a summary of responses and will set out next steps for the review.

 

PSR launches new future strategy

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has launched the development of its future strategy, and is requesting input, before it formally consults, on its priorities and what stakeholders can expect from it in the future.

The PSR focuses on the following three key themes that it believes are particularly relevant to current issues in payments. It has also developed a high-level target outcome for each theme.

  • innovation and future payment methods;
  • competition; and
  • choice and availability of payment methods.

This launch of the engagement phase is the beginning of a three-month period in which the PSR will invite comments and discussion on its three main themes. Although themes will be launched throughout the period, contributions to all themes are allowed until the end of the engagement phase in September 2020 (details on how to comment are available on this webpage). At the end of this engagement phase, the PSR will use all input to inform a full draft strategy. This draft strategy will form the basis of a formal consultation at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021.

From the week commencing 7 September to 16 October 2020 the PSR will hold panel events, regional "virtual" roadshows and ongoing engagement with social media across all themes.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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