In 2005 the contract to build and operate the real-time central infrastructure on behalf of the Faster Payments Scheme Limited was awarded to VocaLink. In one step it propelled the UK to the forefront of payments technology globally and the service remains the world’s leading 24x7x365 retail real time payments system.
Early users of the service have been companies offering financial products that require immediate transfer to customers, such as short term loans and also SMEs using the service to pay their staff.
Businesses are taking advantage of the almost instantaneous functionality and near-universal reach of the service for payments to individuals such as wages to agency workers and where suppliers need to receive the value before releasing goods and services. Government are also making emergency benefit payments to individuals in this way.
Consumers are the main users of the Faster Payments Service, accounting for almost 60% of the payments made last year and the volumes are continuing to grow. More than two in three of the payments consumers made were to pay credit cards and other financial bills as well as other individuals.
These person-to-person payments include those to friends or family for shares of jointly-incurred expenses, such as taxi fares or restaurant bills and bill payments.
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