The Payment Systems Regulator:Breath Of Fresh Air Required.

Posted on: 18/04/2014

The search is on for the person who will head up the new Payment Systems Regulator.

This is a crucial role. The public interest dictates that this is not an "inside" appointment. It will be a disaster if someone gets the job who has made a career of doing the rounds in the payments sector, attending to the needs of  vested interests as required to secure well-paid personal development. 

The new Regulator will need immediately to address removing payment systems from the throttling grasp of the UK Payments Council.BACS, CHAPS, Faster Payments, Cheque Clearing, Link and Paym need to be established as independently owned and managed legal entities - preferably PLC's.They of course need to cooperate when in the public interest but, mostly, they need to compete. Such competition will be amongst themselves initially, but subsequently also with the new entrants to the payments industry, whose participation must be enabled and encouraged by the activities of the Regulator.

We all know that competition leads to innovation. The stifling of competition in the UK has lead to an absence or slowing of the innovation that is vital to both serve the interests of the public and to stimulate the UK economy.

I will be watching with interest who is given the privilege of become the first head of Payment Systems Regulation. If it turns out to be one of the "usual suspects" i.e.. a preserver of vested interests and innovation road blocker, that person will get short-shrift from this commentator!

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