2015 has been a year of great change for the payments industry and one of both challenge and progress for VocaLink.
Internationally three trends have gathered pace: the cross-border consolidation of payments infrastructure especially in Europe; a global move to modernise systems to make real-time payments available to households and businesses alike; and the entry of new non-bank players into the payments market especially at the consumer end of the chain.
In the UK, the new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) was established with objectives to ensure that payments services operate and develop in a way that meets the interests of those who use them, and to promote competition and innovation. One of its first studies is into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision in which VocaLink is the central player..
VocaLink is now recognised as a world leader in real-time payments, building on our reputation as both pioneers and implementers of failsafe technology. Our real time system, Immediate Payments, is working well in Singapore and we have won the contract to install it in the US. There is growing interest in the same technology in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
VocaLink thrives on innovation and during 2015 we delivered several key projects that
maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of payments modernisation.
SIR JOHN GIEVE
We are responding to both customer demand and the requirements of the PSR by giving easier, quicker and more cost-effective access to payment schemes and services. Undoubtedly this demand will get stronger with the advent of PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2) this year, which will enable new companies to enter the payments space. Our solution is PayPort, which offers direct access to the Faster Payments Scheme and will offer entry into other schemes in the near future. PayPort customers are assured of the same levels of care, systems security and expertise that underpin all of our other services. PayPort has great international potential and is already the subject of attention in other countries. We have an ambitious strategy for this exciting new service.
During 2015, we continued investment in and development of Zapp, our digital and mobile payments service, working particularly closely with Barclays. This shows that a real-time clearing system can be used for consumer and business billing and payments, without a card. We hope to add new banks in 2016.
The growing importance of international payments and continued consolidation among European payment systems providers has led us to explore possible inorganic business opportunities to further our strategic aims.
I would like to congratulate and thank the management and staff of the company for their excellent performance and the board of directors for their engagement, and for setting the strategy. In particular, I would like to thank Claire Hafner, our outgoing Chief Finance Officer, for her dedication over the years. Thanks also to Marcelino Castrillo , Jim Coyle and Angela Potter who left the Board during 2015. We wish them well for the future. I would also like to welcome Eric Anstee, Sarah Beauvallet, John Lyons and Daniel Meredith-Jones to the Board.
Our achievements in 2015 demonstrate that VocaLink thrives on competition and innovation. Our current ability to deliver key projects has maintained the uk’s position at the forefront of payments modernisation.
We look forward to an exciting and challenging 2016.
Sir John Gieve