CP21 7 Proposed Strategy Consultation Document June 2021

Our proposed strategy

10/06/2021 Size: 1.883 MB PSR Strategy


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We’ve published our new proposed five-year strategy  and would love to hear what you think.  

Our proposed Strategy sets out an approach that aims to make sure payments and payment systems work well for everybody and that there is fair competition and access to payments for all.

Our proposed strategy

Our approach will protect and embrace what’s working well, change what is not, and lay the foundations for new products, ways to pay and new payment systems so that they develop with the needs of real people and businesses in mind. ​ 

Our proposed strategy is informed by extensive engagement with stakeholders and our experiences and observations since we began work as a specialist regulator in March 2015.

We’re now seeking feedback with a view to publishing a final version by the end of the year. 

Key elements of our strategy  

Our strategy sets out our perspective on payment systems and the markets they support. In it, we consider what is going well, where there is scope for improvement, and the risks and issues that need to be tackled. 

We’ve identified four strategic outcomes that we want to help bring about in the next five years. These flow into four strategic priorities that provide a framework for meeting this ambition.  

Priority 1: Ensure users have continued access to the payment services they rely upon and support effective choice of alternative payment options.

Priority 1

Priority 2: Ensure users are sufficiently protected when using the UK's payment systems, now and in the future. 

Priority 2

Priority 3: Promote competition in markets and protect users where that competition is not sufficient, including a) between payment systems within the UK and b) in the markets supported by them.  

Priority 3

Priority 4: Ensure the renewal and future governance of the UK's interbank payment systems supports innovation and competition in payments.  

Priority 4

What this looks like in practice  

There are a number of actions we will take to deliver these priorities. Some of the key actions we’re proposing include:  

  • Promoting competition between payment systems so that, for example, in future people may choose to use interbank payments (when a payment moves from one bank account to another, like an online transfer) to buy their groceries. Most people currently use card payments. 
  • Continuing to protect access to cash for those that rely on it. 
  • Making sure that, as interbank payments develop (like in the example above), so do the consumer protections associated with them. 
  • Supporting developments to Pay.UK’s governance of the interbank rules so it has greater ability to enforce compliance with its rules and make changes that improve outcomes. 
  • Understanding and taking account of the perspective of vulnerable consumer groups towards new ways of paying and the choices available to them.
  • Ensuring that regulatory approaches are aligned between regulators, and the division of responsibilities is clear.

More detail on the actions the PSR wants to take can be found in Chapter 4 of the document.

In future the PSR’s focus may need to change depending on new developments or where it sees evidence of harm to people or businesses, including where competition isn’t working well in a particular area. As the sector evolves, so too will the PSR’s role adapt accordingly.

What happens next 

This document is a proposed strategy and we’re now seeking feedback from everyone with an interest in payment systems and how they work. This will help us finalise our approach and ensure that we focus on the right outcomes, and - ultimately - have a strategy that is balanced and credible in the eyes of those we regulate and protect.

As well as gathering written feedback we’re arranging a series of engagement events to listen and understand the views of its stakeholders. More information about these events can be found here.  

The deadline to provide your responses to the consultation is Friday 10 September. If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please contact psrstrategy@psr.org.uk.

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