National Payments Plan
Deliver Innovation | Enhance Inclusion | Maintain and Extend Integrity
The aim of the National Payments Plan was to ensure that consumers, businesses and other organisations have access to a broad range of payment methods that meet their needs, and that they are confident in using them.
The National Payments Plan was set up in 2009 as a set of projects and activities to enhance and improve payments. It set out publicly the agenda for much of the Payments Council’s work. The Plan was reviewed and refreshed every three years and the last Plan was published in October 2011. The aim of the National Payments Plan was to ensure that consumers, businesses and other organisations have access to a broad range of payment methods that meet their needs, and that they are confident in using them.
Actions were grouped into three themes:
- Innovation – enhancing existing and developing new payment services
- Inclusion - ensuring payment services were designed to meet the widest possible range of users
- Integrity – making sure the operation of the payment systems was robust and preventing fraud
Covering these themes, actions in the Plan included:
- Mobile Payments - An industry wide project to enable payments to be made using just a mobile number. As a result the Payments Council developed and launched Paym a new way to pay someone via mobile in April 2014.
- Multiple Authorisations - A commitment to offer an electronic alternative to dual signatory cheques to non-personal account holders. This was delivered at the end of 2013.
- Research with disabled consumers and people aged 80 and over to better understand their payment needs.
- Delegating Payments - Work to explore mechanisms to delegate payments – to address the needs of the housebound. This resulted in an awareness campaign to help customers choose safe payment options in February 2015.
- Misdirected Payments - A project to help prevent payments being made to the wrong account. As a result in May 2014 the Payments Council introduced a Code of Best Practice and Guidance on the Code setting out industry response times to help customers who have sent a payment in error – with the aim of helping all parties in the expeditious recovery of funds. It also sought to put in place measures to help prevent customers making errors.
- Access to Cash - Research to understand access to cash issues and work to identify improvements for affected customer groups.
- Low Income Consumers - An independent study on the needs of low-income consumers and specific barriers to the use of electronic payment services.