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UK’s Payment Systems Task Force says progress made in first two years

The UK's Payment Systems Task Force - an arm of watchdog body the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) - has published its second annual progress report.

The two year life of the task force has seen it recommend changes to the way two major payment schemes are governed, which will result in increased transparency and access to these schemes as well as greater input for consumers and businesses.

It has also seen the task force begin to examine the cheque clearing system, and to examine a proposal from APACS for a new way of governing the payments industry.

In just two years the task force has announced a new faster payments service which will put the UK at the leading edge of payment developments. It has recommended new governance strategies for two payment schemes that will not only increase transparency but also place a firm emphasis on innovation and on both consumers and businesses, says Jonathan May, director of markets and policy initiatives at the OFT and chairman of the task force.

The task force welcomed the Link card scheme’s agreement to create a standing committee on consumer issues, the reinforcing of its objectives to promote innovation, efficiency and the interests of consumers and the commitment of Link scheme members and the Post Office to continue negotiations about the issue of access to cash from Post Office counters for all consumers holding a current account with a major financial institution.