The launch of the UK banking industry’s Faster Payments Service has been held back until May 2008, having originally been slated to go live in November.
The delay was widely anticipated after UK payments association Apacs said last month that testing of the service was going more slowly than anticipated.
The infrastructure for the service has been developed by VocaLink to deliver real-time payments to the UK. It is designed to let customers use the internet or phone to make a payment that will reach the recipient’s bank account within just a few hours.
The multi-million pound development of the new system has arisen from an agreement between the banking industry and the UK Office of Fair Trading’s payment systems working group.
The new system has 13 financial institutions signed up as founding members, with others able to join or access the system through agency arrangements with a founding member. Each member will decide when to introduce the service to corporate and personal customers.
Apacs says the revised timescale will “allow sufficient time for the further rigorous testing required at both the centre and by banks to ensure customers can benefit from safe and secure faster payments.”