VocaLink, the international payments provider, is celebrating the five year anniversary of the Faster Payments Service in the UK, with 2.5 billion transactions securely processed since its launch in 2008. Against a tough economic backdrop, the service has flourished and real time processing is now the standard time for phone or internet initiated domestic UK payments. The Faster Payments Service is the largest real time payment system in the world that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering direct customer initiation and almost instantaneous transfer of value to the beneficiary.
VocaLink processes payments on behalf of the Faster Payments Scheme Limited. The service supports businesses and consumers alike with the ability to make immediate bank transfers.
VocaLink has recently built a central mobile proxy database on behalf of the Payments Council. By using the VocaLink infrastructure, combined with the Faster Payments Service, from Spring 2014 financial institutions will be empowered to deploy their own mobile payments services that enable consumers and businesses to send mobile payments using just the recipients’ mobile number.
Being one of the first nations in the world to implement real time payment processing, highlights the innovation and expertise that the UK is famous for, particularly in financial services. The success of Faster Payments has not gone unnoticed in other geographies. VocaLink has also developed an Immediate Payments solution specifically for international markets on the back of the success of the Faster Payments Service and is working with local partners to deliver real time capabilities in Singapore.
David Yates, Chief Executive Officer, VocaLink comments ‘The statistics show that in just five years the Faster Payments Service has had a significant impact on the UK payments market and is now an established payments mechanism. However the architecture of this platform has been designed to support future payments innovation too. With mobile payments on the horizon in the UK and other countries, there is a clear opportunity for the Faster Payments infrastructure to support the development of ubiquitous, sustainable, interoperable, mobile payments services.’
About the Faster Payments Scheme
The Faster Payments Scheme has 10 members:
• Co-operative Bank
• Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks (National Australia Group)
• Lloyds TSB
• Nationwide Building Society
• Northern Bank (Danske Bank)
• Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank)
• Santander UK.
Faster Payments Scheme membership is open to credit institutions with a settlement account at the Bank of England who can connect their payment system to the central infrastructure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other financial institutions are able to join, either as direct members, or to access the system through agency arrangements with a member. Faster Payments, in common with all of the UK’s principal payments schemes, has entered into a contract with the Payments Council setting out its rights and duties. Under the contract, the scheme is required to report to the Payments Council regularly and the Payments Council Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy.
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