Andrew Self, Senior Policy Manager, reflects on our recent webinar on expanding variable recurring payments. 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at a PSR webinar on our call for views on expanding variable recurring payments (VRPs). We wanted people’s views on how to unlock the benefits of this new payment method. This includes how to develop a viable commercial model that incentivises investment and innovation while protecting consumers.  

So what did I take from the event? 

First, the huge level of interest from the industry in the work we are doing. It was great to see so many people  – more than 150 – participating. Representation came from across the industry and beyond, with people joining us from banks, payment service providers, consumer groups, merchants and other regulators.  

What really struck me was not just the high attendance, but the number of questions people asked. It was great to see so much interest in open banking, and people recognising the importance of delivering VRPs.

VRPs could have big benefits. They could give consumers more flexible ways of paying, and help businesses and public bodies deliver outstanding customer experiences. We’ll continue working with all stakeholders to ensure these benefits happen.   

Expanding uses of open banking payments is part of the Joint Regulatory Committee’s wider programme to build an open banking ecosystem that’s scalable and economically sustainable. This will promote competition between payment systems and give consumers and merchants more choice. 

Our consultation marks an important point in open banking’s development in the UK. The webinar was a valuable opportunity for us to understand your views in more detail. We look forward to continuing this close engagement as we work towards the greater use of VRPs and open banking in general.