In March 2013 the government published a consultation, ‘Opening UK payments’, which proposed the idea of bringing operators of payment systems under formal economic regulation by spring 2015. The FCA have now announced that they are looking for such a regulatory body to be in-place by the 1st of April 2015.
As this industry is critical to the economy, it must reflect the needs of people and firms alike. Many banks and other financial services organisations offer these services and so it is a large proportion of the wider finance industry will find themselves under new regulation.
The government has stipulated that the regulator must promote competition and innovation within this industry, as well as ensuring transparency, accountability, proportionality and consistency.
Despite a promise from the government that the regulatory burden will remain under constant review, these changes are bound to incur further processes and reporting. This will require the adoption of new systems and applications, to fulfil these new requirements.
Once the regulator is in place, it is likely that payment system providers will be required to gather information from across their enterprise and supply this in a standard form. In order to do this, these companies need to look at integrating their new systems with legacy systems and applications. Over the coming year, it will be interesting to see how this effects payment services operators.