Payment Systems Regulator opens for business

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) officially opened for business last week, covering transactions worth £75 trillion a year.

The PSR's agenda complements work by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority to deliver a more competitive banking industry in the best interests of consumers and the economy.

The new regulator for payment systems has confirmed how it will regulate the industry and has published a policy work programme setting out priorities for the year ahead.

The PSR's aim is to make payment systems work well for the people and organisations that use them, and deliver greater choice, innovation and competition.

The payment systems covered by the regulator include those used by people to pay a deposit on a house, withdraw money from a cash machine, transfer money via a smartphone, receive salaries into bank accounts, and others. Such systems process in the region of 21 billion transactions a year, worth around £75 trillion.

Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PSR, said: "Our approach will bring change to the industry, injecting competition and innovation where it is needed most, and will put the interests of the people and businesses that use payment systems front and centre.

"True, long lasting change will be difficult, but we have the powers and the people to make it happen. Our challenge now - the challenge we share with industry - is to work together to deliver it."

The PSR is setting up a Payments Strategy Forum to develop a long term vision for how payment systems should develop and identify priority areas for the industry to work together where appropriate to deliver the strategy.

The PSR has published draft terms of reference for two market reviews and announced a card payment systems programme of work. The two market reviews will look at ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision, and the supply of indirect access to payment systems.


Matthew Finnegan

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