Pay.UK, the retail payments authority (formerly known as the New Payment System Operator / NPSO), announced on Thursday (Oct. 18) that it has published a Strategic Partner Procurement Prospectus, which it said is the starting point of a process to appoint a strategic partner.
In a press release, Pay.UK said it is seeking a partner to help define, deliver and operate a payments infrastructure. Known as the New Payments Architecture (NPA), the new infrastructure will safely and securely process trillions of pounds in payments every year.
“Pay.UK has been tasked by the Payments Strategy Forum to deliver the future of payments in the U.K. via the New Payments Architecture," said Paul Horlock, chief executive of Pay.UK. "Publication of this prospectus is the launch pad for the delivery of this unique undertaking, representing a massive opportunity for potential partners to be involved in delivering the core of a next-generation retail payments ecosystem."
According to Pay.UK, the NPA is a new conceptual model for payments in the country, and will take over the processing of Bacs, the Faster Payments Service and potentially check payments. Bringing them together should result in better payment services by simplifying the rules, standards and processes that banks and others need to follow to use the systems.
The prospectus released on Thursday (Oct. 18) sets out the qualities required of potential partners – which could be single suppliers or prime-led consortiums – and also explains the various stages of the procurement process. Pay.UK said the successful partner will be responsible for the design and building of the clearing and settlement layer of the NPA, which includes the provision of hardware, software, operating environments and secure communications and security standards.
“Our key purpose is to enable a vibrant U.K. economy. This is the start of a hugely exciting journey to deliver this objective, and we look forward to engaging widely to find the right partner to help us meet our aim,” Horlock noted in the release.