EPA publishes payment providers guidance in a call for transparency

EPA publishes payment providers guidance in a call for transparency
14.01.2020 12:10 pm

EPA publishes payment providers guidance in a call for transparency

Payments

The Emerging Payments Association (EPA), which celebrates collaboration and innovation within new and existing finance companies, has published a first of its kind guide to address the need for increased access to bank accounts.

Ten account providers from the United Kingdom (UK) have contributed in their own words to the report, entitled, ‘Guide to Payment Account Providers’, including e-money institutions (EMIs), digital banks and other Account Servicing Payment Service Providers (Payment institutions/PIs). The guide examines what kind of accounts they offer, their risk appetite and schemes they support, as well as providing clear and practical guidance for those opening accounts with them.

Historically, the payments industry is often subject to criticism for closing its doors to businesses, due to an increased level of de-risking by UK banks, however, this report provides an objective summary and extended invitation to all UK providers for contribution.

The EPA previously launched a survey on banking access to its members, with 48% of respondent companies having been refused a banking service. However, the EPA’s guide illustrates how far the industry has progressed in recent years, and supports the ability of EMIs, PIs, digital banks to open and keep open bank accounts for safeguarding funds and everyday trading, and to secure a widely accepted understanding of the scale and nature of de-risking and its impact on financial services and businesses.

Clay Wilkes, CEO of Galileo, said: “It is with pride and pleasure that Galileo Financial Technologies sponsor this first edition of the Emerging Payments Association’s Guide to Payment Account Providers. We are honoured that we can count leading UK and European fintech organisations among our friends, colleagues and clients. We look forward to expanding these relationships over the coming years and deepening our association through our mutual support of the EPA.”

Tony Craddock, Director General of the Emerging Payments Association, said: “We must ask ourselves, is the market for bank accounts open and competitive? This report highlights that with some notable and worthy exceptions, there are precious few providers of bank accounts to companies operating in payments which is approaching a market failure. We call on the government and regulators to sit up and take notice.”

He added: “The EPA will continue to encourage new providers of bank accounts and scrutinise apparent attempts to curtail competition by incumbent providers.”

The guide will act as a live document, with more payment providers lined up to contribute to the next edition in six months’ time. The guide recognises the work of U.K. Finance and it’s Access to Payment Account Services, a Good Practice Guide, which provides an excellent summary of the regulatory and legal requirements for providers. The EPA will continue to work with UK Finance and other trade bodies to champion increased open access to accounts and payments within the UK.

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