Banks and payment service providers are set to benefit as the UK’s first certified repository has launched in a significant step to enabling Request to Pay services. The move comes from fintech company Answer Pay and follows Pay.UK’s launch of the Request to Pay standard.
Request to Pay enables billers to request funds rather than sending traditional invoices directly. The consumer then has the choice to pay in full or in part or request an extension. Both parties can communicate directly.
Aa a technical solution provider, Answer Pay helps banks and payment service providers to launch their own Request to Pay service without the technical hurdles. It offers a flexible, low-cost solution to bill payments.
Commenting on the launch Peter Cornforth, commercial director at Answer Pay said: “The launch of Answer Pay’s repository is a significant step in the development of the Pay.UK ecosystem. We’re able to support payment services providers with our Request to Pay+ services through a simple integration. We’re proud to be the first certified repository provider. It’s the innovation on top of the standard to fully automate the processes that make us unique and helps make bill payments cheaper.”
Repository services are the keystone of the Request to Pay ecosystem, managing the identities of participants and securely routing bill payment messages to the correct destinations. They are the interconnection between invoice management systems, typically offered by banks and FinTechs and customer bill payment applications which could be retail bank apps, digital wallets or personal finance managers.
Playing such a pivotal role in the financial ecosystem requires rigorous adherence to the standards with testing conducted by Pay.UK the retail payments authority.
Simon Brooks, service line manager at Pay.UK comments: “Answer Pay was one of the organisations that helped us to complete the RtP pilot of the standard last year, so we’re delighted to see them also become the first certified technical repository provider. Adoption of Request to Pay will see a change in the way people receive their bills, giving consumers more choice and providing billers with enhanced reconciliation. As such, we’re very keen to see our standard for the RtP Framework adopted.”
Answer Pay estimates that with 55% of utility bills in the UK paid by Direct Debit, and the remainder paid by cards, cash and cheques, the Request to Pay market could equate to 1,354m transactions a year.