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Payments Council project will enable mobile payments from any account

21 February 2012

The ability to send mobile payments using just a mobile phone number should be open to everyone, according to the Payments Council’s latest mobile payments project update.

The Payments Council is building a central database that will allow customers to link their mobile phone number to their account details, regardless of who they bank with. It will be available  to UK banks and building societies before the end of this year as a platform  for them to build their own competitive service for their customers. VocaLink  has been appointed to build the central database.

Customers will register for the  service through their own bank, with no need to share their details with a  third party. The database will enable registered customers to make or receive  almost-instantaneous payments from their existing account, using just a mobile phone number.  It will be safe, secure  and simple to use. 

The service will be subject to  common minimum standards that will require a passcode or a similar security  feature to authorise a payment and enable banks to remotely disable an account, in case a phone is lost or stolen. Any payments made will be routed through  either Faster Payments or LINK.

It will be technically possible to  offer the service on any smartphone with an internet connection on any network.  Most commonly this will be through an internet browser or an app, but banks will be free to customise exactly how they offer the service to their customers.

Chief Executive of the Payments  Council, Adrian Kamellard said:

“There’s clearly a great demand for mobile payments and our work will ensure that banks of all shapes and sizes can  offer their own competitive service to their customers. Whether you want to pay  a friend or your window cleaner, we are laying the foundation to enable mobile payments to become a mainstream option.

“The Payments Council is encouraged by signs of increasing innovation in the mobile payments arena in the UK.  Our collaborative role is all about creating  the conditions that mean innovations are available to the widest possible range  of customers.  We will keep a close eye on developments in the mobile payments market so that we can be sure that our project remains set to achieve its objectives.”


For further information contact the  Payments Council press office:  020 3217 8234/8340/8441/8251 Twitter: @paymentscouncil


About 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.
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About VocaLink
VocaLink is an  international payments partner to banks, their corporate customers and  government departments.

We design and  deliver smarter domestic and international automated payments systems, and  smarter ATM switching solutions. 

In fact, our  switching platform connects over 60,000 ATMs, the world’s busiest network,  while our payments platform processes over 500 million payments per  month. 

Having pioneered  electronic payments for over 40 years it’s perhaps no surprise that many major  organisations have come to rely on our services.

For example, our  Real-time Payments Platform is the central infrastructure for the UK’s Faster  Payments Service.  We are also working with BGC, Sweden’s leading payments  provider, to provide outsourced processing for Direct Debit Autogiro domestic  payments.

VocaLink is also committed to corporate social  responsibility. We seek to drive beyond industry best practice and set the  standard as an innovative business partner.