Request to Pay

Introduction

Request to Pay is a project to create a secure messaging service – almost akin to email – which will be overlaid on top of existing payments infrastructure.

The NPSO is currently working to define the standards and technical specifications that will underpin the service. It is envisaged that the service will mean people, businesses and organisations will be able to ‘request’ payment for a bill, rather than sending an invoice or a bill.

For each ‘request’, customers will be able to pay in full, pay in part, ask for more time, communicate with the biller, or decline the payment. The service could benefit a wide range of sectors – from utilities to financial services, government, charities and beyond.

Request to Pay is not designed to replace anything – it will sit alongside Direct Debit and other existing bill payment methods to give consumers and businesses additional choice and flexibility. As well as offering consumers and businesses more control and flexibility it could save billers an estimated £1.3 billion per year.

We are developing the rules and standards for Request to Pay, to catalyse a competitive market for Request to Pay services. The development of the Request to Pay service is one of the end user deliverables in the blueprint for the New Payments Architecture (NPA).

Developers

Potential participants – including Payment Service Providers, billers and more – are being invited to review the draft specifications and provide feedback using an API sandbox for the ‘message repositories’ which will play a role in storing, sending and receiving messages, and the ‘end-user applications’ which will make it possible for consumers and businesses to communicate with repositories.

Using API (‘application programming interface’) technology as a secure way of sharing data, the proposition is for the Request to Pay service to be underpinned by a single central directory, which will enable registration of participants and identification of the services they provide.

You can find out more and register for access at www.requesttopay.co.uk

Next Steps

Request to Pay will have benefits for consumers, small and large businesses, not-for-profits and payment service providers. The NPSO is engaging with representatives of all of these groups to offer the chance to get an inside look at the work being done and provide feedback. The opportunity it open to all – you may have no previous knowledge on the service and want to know more or wish to comment on a technical aspect of the draft specifications.

All potential participants’ initial feedback will be used to help inform the draft technical specifications, which are currently provided for illustrative purposes. Two further iterations of documentation are planned to be published on the portal during 2018, as the specifications are further refined.

The final versions will be published in early 2019, to enable interested participants to prepare their own competitive launches from spring 2019 onwards.

To get in touch or sign up for one of our upcoming events visit the
Request to Pay website