B2B Payments

UK Continues Payments Industry Consolidation

The U.K. continues to consolidate its payments industry, with its New Payment System Operator (NPSO) announcing the latest step in the initiative. A press release on Monday (July 2) said the NPSO acquired the U.K. Payments Administration and has taken control of the nation’s check and credit clearing operations. The move includes the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC) merging under the NPSO, it said.

Checks will continue to be processed through the paper clearing system as well as the Image Clearing System, recently launched to support digital images of checks used for clearing and settlement.

“The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company has developed a tremendous amount of trust in payments through the robust and secure exchange of checks and credits over 30 years, and is now revolutionizing the way checks are cleared through the ICS,” said NPSO Chief Executive Paul Horlock in a statement. “This is our opportunity to create the future of retail payments in the U.K., driving value for people and businesses, and enabling a vibrant U.K. economy. We will be the leading payments authority that will create a best-in-class payment infrastructure and standards in the U.K. for the benefit of people everywhere.”

The NPSO has also acquired the U.K. Payments Administration Limited (UKPA), it added, which is the company that promotes “the smooth running of the U.K.’s payment system,” said Horlock. Earlier this year, the NPSO took responsibility for the Bacs Payment Schemes Limited and Faster Payments Scheme Limited. The mergers and consolidations are part of the U.K.’s efforts to streamline its payments infrastructure and ecosystem.

Last month, the NPSO launched a consultation with the Bank of England to promote the adoption of the ISO 20022 payments messaging standard across all payment schemes, including CHAPS, Faster Payments and Bacs.

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