Melanie Johnson appointed as chair of new payment system operator
Melanie Johnson has been appointed as the independent non-executive chair of the company that will become the new single, integrated retail payment system operator for the UK, processing over £6.4tn pounds of payments every year.
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 Image Clearing System (ICS) which will replace the paper processing system for cheques currently managed by the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC).
Melanie Johnson has had a long and distinguished career with extensive experience at a senior level in both public and private sectors, including as city minister in the Treasury, taking forward financial services regulation, and later, as competition and consumers minister, holding responsibility for legislation to enhance competition and protect consumers interests and rights to redress.
Melanie has worked in the private sector since 2005 and has been chairing the industry association representing the issuers and merchant acquirers of debit and credit cards for the last eight years. She has led the industry’s focus on openness and better information for customers so that customers can be in the driving seat, and she has championed the wider use of contactless cards for travel payments. Recently she provided board leadership throughout the merger of six industry associations to form UK Finance.
Melanie Johnson will take up her position on 1 September 2017, with the appointment made for a three year term.
Melanie Johnson, independent non-executive chair of the new payment system operator, said:
“I’m delighted to take up this role as the independent chair of this vitally important new organisation in payments. The new company I will oversee will aim to deliver easier access to payment systems for existing and new payment providers, promoting greater competition. This will deliver improvements for all types of end users including consumers, businesses and payment service providers, whilst enhancing the systemic robustness and resilience which are essential for financial stability.
“My initial focus will be to lead the process to hire a CEO, establish a board and build on the excellent work of the Payment System Operator Delivery Group. We will be engaging with our stakeholders through two councils – one reflecting the interests of end-users and a second for businesses participating in the payments industry.
“There is much to be done and I’m really looking forward to working with the leadership and staff of Bacs, Faster Payments and the Image Clearing System to build a new integrated business that can lead the delivery of the Payment Strategy Forum’s blueprint for an innovative New Payments Architecture, for the benefit of the UK’s economy.”
Robert Stansbury, the chair of the Payment System Operator Delivery Group led the selection process, which was run on an open basis by independent executive recruitment consultants, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Melanie Johnson as chair. This is a vital milestone to have reached in the process of delivering the new payment system operator.
“Melanie will be an inspired, enthused and energised chair, playing a key role in leading the payments industry through this fundamental transition, balancing the needs of diverse and complex stakeholder groups in the payments ecosystem and delivering benefits for all parts of society.”
The appointment of the new chair follows the successful creation of the corporate entity for the new payment system operator. NPSO Limited was incorporated on 18 July 2017 as a company limited by guarantee. Melanie Johnson will now lead the final stages of the recruitment process for the company’s CEO.