New Request to Pay capability could offer greater control for businesses and consumers
Prioritising the development of a new, ubiquitous and interoperable ‘Request to Pay’ capability for electronic payments could enable greater control and flexibility for customers, according to the latest World Class Payments report, published by Payments UK on 23 March 2016.
‘Request to Pay’ is one of four priority capabilities identified by Payments UK that consumers, businesses, charities, the public sector and the industry need if payments in the UK are to remain world-class. The report published today, A focus on Request to Pay, follows on from publication of Payments UK’s ground-breaking World Class Payments in the UK report last August, which set out an evidence-based vision of what the payments of tomorrow might look like if built on collective customer needs.
If the World Class Payments vision is realised, Request to Pay would complement existing ways to pay, benefiting consumers, small businesses, charities, larger corporate users and government. It would give greater control and flexibility over the timing of regular outgoing payments such as bills, and would provide billers with the potential of making e-invoicing and reconciliation processes more effective.
The report highlights some key principles that would ensure successful, wide adoption of Request to Pay:
– Everyone should be able to benefit from the innovation. It needs to be industry-wide, ubiquitous and interoperable.
– A common set of technical standards for Request to Pay messages would ensure consistency and quality across the industry.
– The impact on businesses and corporates would need to be minimised, and any proposition should be interoperable with their existing processes where possible.
– The proposition should ideally seek to complement existing billing and payment options to avoid a fragmented billing market.
These principles would also facilitate integration of the capability into e-banking channels or deployment via APIs (Application Program Interfaces). The latter could facilitate payment requests to be made or sent from within other non-banking applications, such as social networking sites.
Tim Yudin, Payments UK’s director of design and delivery, said:
“Paying bills and other regular payments electronically are an integral part of how money moves around the UK economy. While we already benefit from some world-leading services in this area, a new Request to Pay capability could offer big benefits to both businesses and consumers by offering greater choice and control over the timing of these payments.
“The aim of our report is to provide more detail about why and how Request to Pay could make a difference and considerations to help its delivery. Taken together with the other three priorities set out as part of our World Class Payments project, we think this report makes an important contribution to the strategic decisions made for the future benefit of all payment service users in the UK.”
There are a number of existing and emerging Request to Pay products in the UK and around the world, but World Class Payments has identified that the opportunity exists to further utilise the Request to Pay concept.
A focus on Request to Pay is the second of four short reports covering the World Class Payments priority areas which will be published over the coming weeks (a report on Enhanced Data was published on 11 March and is available from www.paymentsuk.org.uk). The World Class Payments priority capabilities are interlinked – their combined delivery would maximise opportunities for innovation and competition to benefit UK customers.