New Payments Architecture

New Payments Architecture

Resilient, scalable and expanding what’s possible 

Nestling between the River Thames and the cycle super highway is a memorial to Joseph Bazaalgate. Thousands of cyclists’ whizz past it every day without noticing it. Nevertheless, it stands on top of his creation and is one of the wonders of Victorian engineering – the London Sewers.

Completed in 1875, when London had a population of around two million, those same sewers are now being used by over eight million London residents. Only now, nearly 150 years later, is London having to invest £4.5bn in its plumbing – nearly one thousand times the amount spent on the original solution. Why so long after? Because Joseph Bazaalgate had the foresight to double the capacity originally sized for London in anticipation of the future needs

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Pay.UK (the operator and guardian of the Bacs, Faster Payments and cheque clearing payment systems) is also undertaking a significant process of renewal of a different kind of plumbing – the UK’s interbank payments infrastructure.

Payment systems are vital to the UK economy and play a remarkable role in ensuring that payment for the goods and services we all consume are efficient, safe, resilient and friction-free. It is envisaged that the New Payments Architecture (NPA) will replace the architecture used for today’s UK retail interbank payment systems (Bacs and Faster Payments).  

The NPA Programme will create a new clearing and settlement infrastructure using a new common message standard (based on ISO20022). It’s a little bit like the plumbing for financial services. The ultimate aim is for this infrastructure to process Faster Payments, Bacs Debits or Credits and Cheque payments, thereby rationalising three current scheme infrastructures into one.

At its heart, the NPA aims to streamline interbank payments into a single clearing and settlement system, replacing the numerous systems in place today. Initially, Faster Payments transactions will migrate to the NPA in 2024-2025, followed by Bacs. It will be a new central infrastructure based on ISO 20022, making it the biggest shift in payment processing for a generation.


Leveraging the New Payments Architecture (NPA)

It was recently Mike Chambers’ privilege to host a webinar series for ACI Worldwide on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for New Payments Architecture (NPA).

In this series Mike was joined by payment experts from ACI Worldwide, Santander, Pay.UK, UK Finance in a four part webinar series to answer your NPA questions – click on the images below or click here to download the webinar series:

Mike Chambers and the NPA

As CEO of all of the UK’s systemically important payment systems, an integral part of the industry initiative which led to the NPA vision and also having acted as an advisor to a NPA procurement response, Mike’s experience provides unrivalled exposure across the full supply / demand spectrum on this vital infrastructure programme.

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For an independent and informed insight into the UK’s New Payments Architecture avoid NPA FOMO and subscribe to the NPA edition of the Payments:Unpacked newsletter. For just £100 a year you’ll receive the free and premium plus the unique NPA focussed editions of the Payments:Unpacked newsletter – click on the “Newsletter” button below and select the “supporter” subscription option.

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