EVENT: The Payment Systems Regulator: Ensuring access to cash, preventing payment scams and promoting competition

  • Chris Hemsley, Co-Managing Director of the PSR
  • Louise Buckley, Co-Managing Director of the PSR
  • Natalie Ceeney, Chair, Access to Cash Review
  • Chaired by Lord Sharkey
  • 3.30pm-5pm, Monday 17th June 2019, Committee Room 14, House of Commons
  • To register please email dominic.lindley@newcityagenda.co.uk

Chris Hemsley and Louise Buckley (Co-Managing Directors of the PSR) will discuss the priorities of the Payment Systems Regulator for the coming year including its work on access to cash, preventing payment scams and promoting competition in payment schemes.

The PSR’s priorities for the forthcoming year are:

  • The UK’s ATM networks and access to cash
  • Preventing payment scams
  • Competition in payment schemes and the services businesses need to accept card payments

The UK’s ATM networks and access to cash: The PSR’s main focus for the coming year is access to cash services. In the last two years, cards have overtaken cash as the most used method of payment in the UK. For many people, their expectations of payment options are changing. And as card payments increasingly become the norm in many situations, the economics of cash are beginning to change. Even though the use of cash is declining, many people still rely on cash as their primary way to pay, and there are still many cases where cash payments have advantages over alternatives.

Payment scams: In February 2019 six of the major banks and one challenger bank agreed to implement a new industry Code that will go live on 28 May 2019. This voluntary code has been designed by industry and consumer representatives and will help to prevent authorised push payment scams (APP Scams) and protect the victims. The banks also agreed to provide initial funding to reimburse victims when blame can’t be attributed to either the consumer or the banks, and are working to implement a long-term funding mechanism. The Lending Standards Board (LSB) will be responsible for maintaining the code. The PSR will monitor the success of the Code and work with the LSB to make sure it is effective. The PSR working to introduction of Confirmation of Payee scheme to help people confirm that their payments are going to the right person.

Competition in payment schemes: The PSR is reviewing the market for card acquiring schemes – the services businesses need to accept card payments. It will also monitor whether the merger of 3 payment schemes into Pay.UK is improving efficiency, increasing competition and delivering benefits for banks, businesses and consumers.

Chris Hemsley is Co-Managing Director of the PSR. He has extensive experience working for UK regulators. He joined the PSR from his role as Deputy Director of Railway Markets and Economics and Chief Economist at the Office of Rail and Road. Previously, Chris led the implementation of the UK government’s support scheme for large-scale renewable electricity generation and before that, led the Civil Aviation Authority’s work on competition and consumer protection.