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February 05, 2013


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Edward Harkins

The usual high standard of knowledge, judgement and presentation from Chris Skinner. I have to confess that I was pretty well prejudiced from the point when Osborne remarked that of how the USA fines are to be paid by RBS; “That could potentially have been the cause of real public anger this spring."

That is so far behind the reality of where public opinion in the UK already is, that for me it discounted most of what was subsequently said. In addition, what was said (nothing new as Chris points out)did little but reinforce the impression of an ungracious and reluctant Chancellor forced by the sheer strength of public - and business - opinion to make this minimalist detailing of conceded ground.

Now can we have something of the same on 'Austerity and Plan A'

neil burton

Well at least they’re paying attention.
On the narrow point of having heard of Faster Payments, the Chancellor may simply be reflecting public opinion. Few people (outside the payments cognoscenti who read your blog) have; and where they have, it’s not really valued – partly because for consumers it’s free. Faster payments is expected in the smartphone era, not valued.
My dentist collects most of his payments across plastic card. I quizzed him on how much this costs him. I then asked him why he didn’t use Faster Payments? He has a tablet in reception, most customers find themselves waiting for a while. ‘What is Faster Payments?’ So I called a relationship manager at his bank. ‘We’re motivated to sell the card schemes, not FP’.
Discussion with a marketeer heavily involved in the payments industry revealed a similar story. ‘I only accept payments for my events thru’ Paypal, as it is so much easier to reconcile and manage everything. I don’t have time to spend on admin’. All credit to Paypal (no pun intended).
Whilst the press and regulators castigate banks for selling the wrong things, we also need to promote the right things. Give consumers and SMEs the choice. Where can my dentists get an FP sticky logo, to go alongside the VISA and Mastercard etc ones?
But the door is ajar; change is in the air; it is up to us whether it’s bad or good. Celent have a manifesto (the link is in the blog above.) My vote goes to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who wants to make Britain’s banks the most ‘flexible and effective’ in the world. Though I’d widen it to include regulated PSPs, and the national infrastructures.

Rahul Bharti

credit and debit card payments still take more than a day to arrive, in most cases it is still the 3rd day. The volume of merchant payments cannot even be compared to P2P payments for which faster payments serve. What is needed is something like EFT-POS, wherein you can get rid of the card companies that are much more expensive and get transactions settled by a scheme like faster payments and this is much easier to implement for debit cards than for credit cards. The total value of merchant / card puraches can sometimes be half of the value of GDP and imgaine 2% of these going towards transaction costs ? wuhh .. a lot of which goes to card companies. With something like faster paymens , efforts should have been made to move the high volume merchant kind of transactions of 'faster' mode of payments which are not only faster (immediate) but also cost a lot less. I see no effort being made in this direction and that is such a shame. Countries like China dont entertain visa and mastercard because they realize that in a cash free world (which we may be heading towards), the cost may just be too much that these companies take away.

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