UNITED KINGDOM

EUROPE

Since its launch in 2008, the U.K.’s IP scheme, Faster Payment Service (FPS), has brought tremendous change to the market and paved the way for IP development worldwide. Furthering its global innovation leadership, the U.K. is developing an advanced retail payments infrastructure currently known as New Payments Architecture (NPA). The stated goals of NPA are to increase accessibility and enable new services, encouraging competition to drive these innovations.

The existing scheme, FPS, allows customers to make payments 24/7/365 via online, mobile and telephone banking, as well as at bank branches. It can process four different types of payments with a maximum of £250,000 ($319,005), including direct corporate access which enables bulk transfers such as salary payments.

In general, FPS users will receive a confirmation reply to let them know whether their funds have been accepted or rejected by the receiver’s bank within 15 seconds, but payments can take up to two hours to take effect.

Timeline

MARKET DEVELOPMENT

ACCEPTANCE
  • Consumers
  • Banks
  • Merchants
  • Billers

TOTAL PARTICIPANTS

32

Population banking level

3.17

Number of debit, credit and charge cards per adult

127

Index to global average

F

Fully banked

Key statistics

2008

IP launch year

Immediate payments types

Single instance, forward-dated standing orders, direct corporate access

Initiation & authorization

Mobile number, email

ISO 8583

Message standard

Transactions

2.4B

2019

4B

2024f

10.4%

F5 Yr CAGR

25%

% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have used it in the past year

Share of volumes by payments instrument

Transactions

2019
2024

Spend (USD)

2019
2024
  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Immediate payments

Immediate payments volume and its share in overall non-paper-based transactions, 2014-24f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume

Insight

With growth of 19% YOY and adoption across banks, merchants and billers, the U.K. is one of the most established, highly developed IP markets in the world. It provides a strong benchmark for newer markets due to wide acceptance of IP across segments and the declining role of cash within the economy.

The combination of a long-existing IP scheme and heavy consumer reliance on alternative electronic payment types like payment cards, means U.K. growth is forecast to be steady in the years to come, rather than aggressive.

However, with mobile wallet usage nearly tripling between 2014 and 2019, the addition of IP capabilities within mobile wallets, fintechs and corporate banks joining the scheme, and the advanced NPA infrastructure in development, IP will likely experience an even greater uptick of transactions in the future. Especially if these innovations further enhance user experience.

ACI’s take

Despite more than ten years of Faster Payments growth, the U.K. continues to drive increased volumes with new use cases for the real-time scheme.

This has been supported by the ever-increasing transaction value limits that facilitate the expansion of IP into B2C, B2B, G2C and more. As the U.K. modernizes its IP infrastructure to the ISO 20022 standard, delivers NPA and adds digital overlay capabilities, more growth is expected thanks to innovative new services.

The Bank of England granted direct access to the U.K.’s first non-bank in 2018, and since then the system has continued to encourage new services that ensure that real-time is the new normal in the U.K. Its forward-thinking and collaborative approach to open banking helps the U.K. to remain prime for immediate innovation.

All Faster Payments participants should be preparing for the next meteoric wave of IP volumes, spurred on by the non-financial transactions created by open banking.

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