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Code of conduct for indirect access to UK payment systems updated and new code subscriber announced

An updated, voluntary Code of Conduct for Indirect Access Providers (IAPs) was published on Thursday, 5th April 2018, following a consultation with stakeholders. The principal aim of the Code is to improve the experience of Indirect Payment Service Providers (IPSPs) by clearly setting out the responsibilities of IAPs that subscribe to the Code.

The New Payment System Operator (NPSO), in its role as Code Administrator, along with IAPs and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), has reviewed the Code in light of the recently introduced Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) regulation. The enhanced version of the Code reflects on the PSD2 powers relating to indirect access to designated payment systems. Since the Code’s launch in 2015, subscribing IAPs continue to take positive steps to demonstrate alignment with the Code commitments and heighten awareness across IPSPs.

ClearBank, has recently subscribed to the Code, making it the fifth subscriber alongside Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS. The addition of ClearBank further increases the market competition for indirect access to payment systems in the UK.

The Code Administrator will continue to monitor the Code’s effectiveness through regular compliance monitoring and engagement with stakeholders and the PSR. This monitoring will include seeking feedback from interested stakeholders via the Code Consultative Group.

Tim Yudin, Director of Design and Delivery at the NPSO, said: “We are pleased to welcome ClearBank as a new subscriber to the Code of Conduct. The Code is important in supporting the increasing number of payment service providers that rely on indirect access to the UK’s main payment systems. We are confident that Code subscribers will continue to deliver services to the standards of best practice stated in the Code and the NPSO, as Code Administrator, will continue to monitor its effectiveness.”

Nick Ogden, Founder and Chairman of ClearBank® said: “As the UK’s fifth clearing bank we are focussed on delivering market neutrality, transparency and improved access to the UK payment schemes. As a signatory to the Code we will maintain and deliver the Code standards and best practices which support and complement our own core business objectives.”

About the New Payment System Operator (NPSO)

NPSO Limited is the holding name for the company that has been set up to consolidate Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL), and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC) which incorporates the Image Clearing System (ICS) that will replace the paper processing system for cheques currently managed by C&CCC. These retail payment systems, which process over £6.4 trillion pounds of payments every year between them, will be joined by UK Payments Administration Ltd (UKPA), which provides people, facilities and business services expertise to support the systems behind the payment system operations.

Bringing all of these retail payment services together will reduce complexity and risk, providing a platform for innovation. The company will support a vibrant UK economy by enabling a globally competitive payments industry in the UK.

The consolidation is an important part of the strategy for payments in the UK and will allow greater independence, a more dynamic, competitive and innovative business environment and will benefit all users of payments including consumers, businesses, the third sector, government, and payment service providers.

The proposal for the NPSO was created by the Payment System Operator Delivery Group, an independently chaired body set up by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and the Bank of England. NPSO Limited was incorporated on 18 July 2017 as a company limited by guarantee.

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