NPSO acquires UK payments administration and takes responsibility for cheque and credit clearing

Written by Oliver Wade

The oversight for running and managing the cheque paper and cheque image clearing systems was recently passed over to the board of the New Payment System Operator (NPSO) as the system operator yesterday, 1 July 2018, while the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC) became a subsidiary of the NPSO.

However, despite the responsibility changing hands, all payments will continue to be processed as usual through the paper clearing system for cheques and the recently launched Image Clearing System (ICS). The ICS enables digital images of cheques to be exchanged between banks and building societies for clearing and settlement, which in turn significantly speeds up the process.

The NPSO has now completed the consolidation of the UK’s retail payment systems, after it took responsibility of Bacs Payment Schemes (Bacs) and Faster Payments Scheme (FPSL) on 1 May 2018.

New Payment System Operator chief executive Paul Horlock said: “The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company has developed a tremendous amount of trust in payments through the robust and secure exchange of cheques and credits for over 30 years and is now revolutionising the way cheques are cleared through the ICS.

“This is our opportunity to create the future of retail payments in the UK, driving value for people and businesses and enabling a vibrant UK economy. We will be the leading payments authority that will create a best in class payment infrastructure and standards in the UK for the benefit of people everywhere.”

Furthermore, the NPSO acquired UK Payment Administration (UKPA) on 1 July 2018. The UKPA is responsible for providing people, facilities and business services to the payments ecosystem.

“UKPA plays a pivotal, behind-the-scenes role in helping to ensure the smooth running of the UK’s payment systems and we are delighted to welcome on board its personnel, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Horlock added.

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