PSR narrows scope for delivery of UK `s New Payments Architecture

PSR narrows scope for delivery of UK's New Payments Architecture

The Payment Systems Regulator is to narrow the scope of the delivery contract for the UK's New Payments Architecture (NPA) amid concerns about the current programme's "unacceptably high risks".

Understanding Online Payments

Sign up for a FREE 15 day trial of PinnacleCart eCommerce Software at This video helps first time merchants understand how online payments work.

Our Annual Plan 2021/22

Our Managing Director, Chris Hemsley, introduces our Annual Plan for 2021/22, setting out our key aims and activities for the year.

You can view the Annual Plan at

00:00 Introduction
01:52 Access to cash
02:33 Authorised Push Payment fraud and Confirmation of Payee
03:29 Pay.UK and the New Payments Architecture (NPA)
05:26 Our future strategy
05:50 The year ahead

Token – A Modern Instant, Secure Payment System

Token is building an elegant architecture to solve the faster payments problem worldwide.

We took a clean sheet approach to designing a modern payment system that would meet the needs of regulators and banks worldwide, not just in the US.

We spent nearly 2 years designing a new secure system architecture. Token is a brand new real-time payment rail, built on “bare metal” (central bank transfer) and not an overlay system built on existing transports such as ACH. We use a new paradigm, the “smart token” to encapsulate value and emulate payment paradigms. These smart tokens can be thought of like a digital version of a personal check if issued at the request of a person or like a banknote if issued by the bank. All tokens are issued and redeemed at banks. Banks involved in all transactions. Transactions happen directly between the banks and the bank’s customers. Transactions post and clear instantly. There are no usernames or passwords or one-time codes. We eliminated all the shared secrets so there could not be a mass breach.

Token supplies software to banks. The server piece runs inside the bank’s data center. The client piece runs inside the bank’s mobile app. There are SDK’s for merchants and software developers.

We are very excited about the architecture of our final design. It is a big step forward from today’s payment rails.

We are moving forward today with proof of concept demos with large banks in the US and EU.

The 7 minute video we put together describes some of the highlights of our design and the design choices we made. We welcome your comments on our approach.

You can contact us at [email protected]

Effectiveness Criteria addressed:
• U.1 Accessibility
• U.2 Usability
• U.3 Predictability
• U.4 Contextual data capability
• U.5 Cross-border functionality
• U.6 Applicability to multiple use cases
• E.1 Enables competition
• E.2 Capability to enable value added services
• E.3 Implementation timeline
• E.4 Payment format standards
• E.5 Comprehensiveness
• E.6 Scalability and adaptability
• E.7 Exceptions and investigations process
• F.1 Fast approval
• F.2 Fast clearing
• F.3 Fast availability of funds to payee
• F.5 Prompt visibility of payment status
• S.2 Payer authorization
• S.3 Payment finality
• S.4 Settlement approach
• S.7 Security controls
• S.8 Resiliency
• S.9 End-user data protection
• S.10 End-user/provider authentication
• L.4 Data privacy
• L.5 Intellectual property

Real-time Payments Architecture Guide Episode 1: Integration Options for Banks

See our 2019 RTP Readiness Report:

Read our 2019 RTP Implementation Guide:

See our RTP architecture vlog in its entirety:

See our RTP product and design vlog in its entirety:

See our RTP strategy vlog in its entirety:

For banks looking to integrate with TCH’s real-time payment system, at a high level, they have a couple of options. One option is to integrate directly into the TCH RTP rails, and the other option is to integrate through a third party service provider, also known as a TPSP. So, some factors that will influence which option a bank chooses to integrate with include things like looking at your existing architecture and determining how RTP is expected to be treated.

Is it just another payment rail or is it part of a much bigger enterprise strategic effort? Also, what are your key vendors in the payment space and what are their capabilities? Do they have a strong RTP offering? Another question to ask yourself is, do you have a payments hub? If you do, that’s a very natural integration point to tie RTP in. If not, then consider your key vendors in the payments space for things such as ACH wire, etcetera, and since they are already integrated into your environment, it’s a very natural question to ask.

Do they have a strong RTP offering and have you looked at their offerings to evaluate how well they would fit with your enterprise? Another key question to ask yourself when you’re looking at these options is what is your organizational preference on solutions? Is it to build or to buy? If your preference is to buy, then you’re going to want to look at using a third-party service provider.

If your preference, however, is to build to maintain maximum flexibility, you have a couple of options. You can definitely connect directly to the TCH RTP rails or you could consider more of a hybrid-type option where you use a more lightweight TPSP who will connect to the RTP rails on your behalf, and then expose to you all the messages so that you can then build and implement that core RTP processing logic, which then integrates with your existing systems.

To go a bit deeper, integrating directly into the RTP rails involves establishing the required connectivity between the bank and TCH. Whereas if a bank chooses to integrate through a third party service provider, then it is the TPSP’s responsibility to connect to TCH. Depending on the particular third party service provider, they often will do more than just provide the connectivity to The Clearing House.

TPSPs can assist your institution with other activities such as conducting message format and syntax validations, validating messages for cryptographic correctness, interacting with other systems within your organization as needed, and also logging messages, and then providing some way for you to view those later through something like an operational dashboard. The TPSP can provide a lot more than just connectivity, and because they are adding this core RTP processing logic as well, it can save your institution quite a bit of time and effort in your RTP implementation.