Payments regulatory news, September 2020 # 3

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Recent regulatory developments focussed on the payments sector. Reports on the latest from the UK Payment Systems Regulator and Pay.UK.


  • Card-acquiring services: PSR interim report
  • Approach to adopting ISO 20022 for UK payment systems: Pay.UK update

Card-acquiring services: PSR interim report

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its interim report on the supply of card-acquiring services. The PSR's market review follows concerns that the supply of these services may not be working well for merchants, and ultimately consumers.

The PSR has found that, while many small and medium merchants may not be getting a good deal, the market for card acquiring services works well for the largest merchants. Broadly speaking, the PSR identified three areas of concern:

  • merchant contracts for card acquiring services;
  • point-of-sale (POS) terminal contracts; and
  • the difficulty for merchants to compare prices.
  • In its interim report, the PSR includes several potential remedies to make it easier to search and switch for a new provider or better deal, including:

  • requiring all contracts for card-acquiring services to have an end date, providing a prompt for merchants to shop around;
  • requiring changes to POS terminal contracts to limit their length, ending contracts that auto-renew for successive fixed terms and making it easier to exit POS terminal contracts without incurring exit fees; and
  • making it easier for merchants to research and compare prices and options available to them.
  • The PSR is consulting on its findings and proposed remedies. The consultation period ends on 8 December 2020. The PSR intends to finalise its findings and publish a final report in 2021.

The interim report is accompanied by a glossary, an infographic, and a number of annexes available on the report webpage.

Approach to adopting ISO 20022 for UK payment systems: Pay.UK update

Pay.UK has published a progress update on its Next Generation Standard for UK retail payments.

In February 2020, Pay.UK consulted on proposals for adopting the common global messaging standard for UK payments, known as ISO 20022, along with other key standards for the clearing and settlement capability that will be enabled by the New Payments Architecture (NPA). The NPA is the UK payments industry's proposed new way of organising the clearing and settlement of payments between banks, and will replace Bacs and Faster Payments.

In the progress update, Pay.UK sets out details of:

  • its recommended direction for the adoption of ISO 20022; and
  • its delivery plan for the Next Generation Standard.Before the end of 2020, Pay.UK intends to publish its final conclusions, details of its technical work plan, and the forward plan for the future direction on standards over the next 12 months.

[View source.]

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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