UK consumers have already embraced new spending methods, with 58 million contactless cards in circulation at the end of 20141.
But it’s not just shoppers who are joining the revolution — regulators are also waking up to the fact that they need to be on the right side of new payment innovations.
That’s why, with the UK payments system industry now worth around £75 trillion , regulators have set up a range of ways to help you explore groundbreaking payment options2.
These ventures not only benefit your business, they make your customers’ lives easier too. Here are a couple of examples:
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR)
The world’s first dedicated payment regulator was set up in April 2015 to help the likes of customers, small businesses and large retailers, including many organisations that make a lot of payments.
One of its key roles is to promote innovation, particularly collaborative partnerships. The PSR’s Head of Regulatory Policy and Strategy, Mark Falcon, says innovation is a unique goal among economic regulators, “but entirely appropriate, as innovation is what drives the greatest user benefits”.
The PSR is also currently busy setting up the UK Payments Strategy Forum. Designed to be a partnership between industry and regulator, it will be open to everyone interested in payments systems, with a main focus on improving innovative partnerships. Read more about the PSR
The Innovation Hub
Innovation is also top of the agenda at the aptly named Innovation Hub. Part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Project Innovate, it helps businesses launch “ground-breaking or significantly different” financial products and services.
In its first two months, it received 83 requests for support and, by January 2015, had responded to 58 per cent. But you don’t need to be FCA-regulated to receive its help. If you would like to find out how to make a request you can find out here. Request support from the Innovation Hub.
Looking at the success of innovation, Mike Saunders, Barclaycard’s Managing Director of Digital Consumer Payments, has said: “We’re in the midst of a sweeping change in the way we pay, with cash-dominated transactions being replaced by ‘touch-and-go’ technology.”
In an ever-changing market, ways to pay are evolving as quickly as selling and service-delivery methods are. There’s no shortage of businesses keen to flex their innovation muscles and harness the power of this fast-growing sector.
Some may be reluctant to venture into uncharted waters, given the initial investment required and the uncertainty over the result.
But if you understand your industry, know your products and meet the necessary requirements, regulators can offer invaluable help and support when it comes to innovation.
Do it right and you’ll not only benefit your customers and generate new revenue streams, you’ll be helping to reshape the entire payment landscape.
Sources1UK Cards Association http://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/
2Payment Systems Regulator https://www.psr.org.uk/