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New research shows proposed account switching service will be a major improvement



Today (24 January) the Payments Council published the findings from qualitative market research aimed at assessing customers’ reactions to the proposed new current account switching service, due to launch in September 2013.

Participants in the research felt that the new switching service would be a major improvement on the process in place at the moment, and that it would go a long way to address existing concerns about switching current accounts, such as the inconvenience involved and the risk of something going wrong. 

The new switching service promises to:
• reduce the amount of time it takes to switch an account from around 18 days to seven working days
• provide an account switching guarantee that customers can rely on
• automatically switch incoming payments to the new account.

The research, carried out by independent research company, Optimisa Research, involved a series of focus groups with consumers and business and charity representatives from across the UK.  A four-page summary of the findings from the market research, as well as the full report, can be downloaded from the Current Projects section of the Payments Council website:  www.paymentscouncil.org.uk.

Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council comments: 

“We are delighted to see that the significant improvements we are making to the account switching process have met with widespread approval.
“As a result of these changes it will be quicker and simpler to switch account from September 2013. In addition, this is likely to lead to a more competitive and transparent market place for current accounts – which is great news for customers.”

For further information contact the Payments Council press office on 020 3217 8251/8234/8340 or email press@ukpayments.org.uk.

ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS

Payments Council
The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK.  This unique role ensures that we listen to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs.  We are, by nature, a collaborative body so we work with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of our external stakeholders.The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK.  

The Payments Council was set up in March 2007 and currently there are 31 members; the Board has 11 industry representatives, four independent Directors and an independent Chairman. The principal UK payment schemes – Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments and Cheque & Credit Clearing Companies, LINK ATM Scheme as well as the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company Limited – have all entered into a contract with the Payments Council to set out their respective rights and duties. Under the contract, schemes are required to report regularly and the Payments Council Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy.  Payments Council also has 23 associate members.
For more information visit www.paymentscouncil.org.uk