The Payments Association Welcomes UK’s Future of Payments Review Call for Strategy to Re-Establish Leading Status

The Payments Association, which claims to be the most “influential” community in payments, has welcomed the release of the report following the Future of Payments Review, commissioned by the Chancellor.

The report calls for a National Vision and Strategy for Payments considering “the importance of payments to consumers and the economy, the many billions of pounds being invested and the highly interdependent nature of the many different initiatives in the payments arena.”

The report, authored by former HSBC UK and Nationwide Building Society CEO Joe Garner, was released alongside the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and reported: “A world-class payments ecosystem is essential – not just to the economy – but to the lives of every member of our society,” and cited £107trn flowed through UK payments systems last year – equivalent to 44 times GDP.”

Commenting on the release of the Garner Report, Tony Craddock, Director General of The Payments Association, said:

“At last! An independent report that shines a spotlight on payments and provides the guidance the industry and its regulators so badly need. There are too many conflicting and overlapping initiatives, too many stakeholders fighting their own corners, and not enough protection for consumers making payments between bank accounts. If we can implement the recommendations of the Garner Report we will steer clear of the cliff edge and help to re-establish the UK’s leadership in payments. Everyone will benefit – from greater security, lower fraud, and a more innovative payments ecosystem.”

As noted in the update:

“I just hope this is the start of the government’s interest in payments, not the end of it. We are where we are because neither the industry nor the regulators have provided sufficiently strong leadership. The Payments Association supports the government’s leadership of our industry because the future of payments is too important to leave to chance – or to risk that squabbling stakeholders continue to prevent the progress that is both possible and necessary.”

The underlying theme of the Garner Report resonates strongly “with The Payments Association’s Payments Manifesto, which preceded the report and was released in October this year.”

The Payments Manifesto called for “the industry to stand as a united front to tackle issues such as APP fraud and the benefits of adopting a risk-based approach to cross-border payments. Both the Manifesto and the report stressed that innovation has been key to the UK’s payment industry success and that we need to encourage investment to ensure the country re-establishes its world-leading status.”

The Garner Report’s findings indicate “that while cash must be able to co-exist peacefully with digital payments, it is imperative that UK consumers and businesses have access to world-leading payment solutions in a secure and reliable environment in order to protect vulnerable users.”

Garner stressed that due “to a strong track record of reliability in the payments space, fast and secure contactless infrastructure and a leading mobile purchasing experience enhanced by the high adoption rates of digital wallets, the UK’s purchasing experience is one of the best in the world.”

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