Press release

Mastercard to offer new 'Request to Pay' bill pay in the UK

24 september 2019

  • Mastercard announces its intention to participate in Pay.UK’s ‘Request to Pay’ service as a provider of bill payment solutions
  • Mastercard’s Request to Pay solution, which will launch in Q1 2020, will provide the UK market with a secure messaging channel between billers and consumers to send and receive bill payment requests and make payment
  • Mastercard has partnered with Exela Technologies to bring this solution to market

London, UK: 24 September 2019 – Mastercard is announcing the forthcoming launch of its Request to Pay solution in the UK – following accreditation from Pay.UK - enabling consumers and businesses to receive payment requests, view bills and pay using real-time payments or card.

Request to Pay is a secure messaging service that allows billers and consumers to communicate before payment takes place. Designed to put control in the hands of the consumer, the Request to Pay service will provide more options and flexibility to settle bills between businesses and individuals transparently. Businesses will also be able to communicate with consumers regarding the payment, receiving more information and data about payment preferences and habits that will enable more efficient payments in future. For example, consumers will be able to tell the billers they would like to pay in full, in part, request additional time to make a payment, decline to pay or begin a dialogue with the requester.

Gregor Dobbie, CEO, Vocalink, a Mastercard company, comments: “Our Request to Pay solution is a new payment application that delivers significant benefits for all involved – consumers, businesses, and banks – providing more flexibility, speed and transparency of bill payments. It is designed to accelerate Mastercard’s strategy of offering choice to customers, digitising all forms of payments, making life simple, seamless and secure for everyone. It has the potential to change the way we settle our day to day bills.”

Vocalink’s Request to Pay solution in the UK, is the latest addition to Mastercard’s portfolio and supports the business’ global effort to bring innovation to bill payment ecosystems for the benefit of consumers. The solution, which will launch in the UK in Q1 2020, following accreditation by Pay.UK, is co-developed with Exela Technologies, a world leader in business process automation. Leveraging proprietary technology, this latest partnership builds on previous successful collaborations such as the recently launched UK Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques. Exela will be the first customer of Mastercard’s solution and will roll out the ‘Request to Pay’ functionality for its UK customers.

Vitalie Robu, President of Exela EMEA comments: “We have worked with Vocalink and now Mastercard for many years and our relationship is built on a shared spirit of innovation and partnership; leveraging our combined strengths as strategic partners, and providing mission critical services such as the UK Image Clearing System. We continue to innovate and change the UK payments landscape, and by offering Request to Pay to our UK customers as a Platform as a Service, we can provide a cost-effective, rapid time-to-market, scalable solution for our customers and the wider UK market.” Exela’s customers include some of the UK’s largest Banks, Utilities, Corporates and Charities who have payment billing relationships with over half of the UK’s adult population.

‘Request to Pay’ draws upon Mastercard’s existing expertise and experience in innovation across the UK market and the US, where it is launching Mastercard Bill Pay Exchange that links to The Clearing House’s (TCH’S) RTP infrastructure and is built with technology from Vocalink, a Mastercard company.

What are the benefits of Request to Pay?

Billers will be able to send bills in electronic format directly to consumers, bypassing paper-based processes and associated costs. They will have greater transparency and certainty of when and how bills will be paid, and also benefit from a simpler payments reconciliation process.

Consumers will be able to receive all their bills in one place, usually via their financial institution’s digital service channel, avoiding the need to view bills via biller websites, email or post. Request to Pay functionality may offer additional analytics to payers, for example, alert them of an unusual bill amount or other discrepancies to help with budget planning. Consumers will also get more flexibility on how, when and how much to pay.

Mastercard’s Request to Pay solution in the UK will be accredited by Pay.UK, meeting their rules and standards.


Ellie Lewis
Director, External Communications

Emma Harvey, Robyn Margetts
Seven Consultancy

About Vocalink  

A Mastercard company, Vocalink designs, builds and operates industry-leading bank account-based payment systems. Our technologies power the UK’s real-time payments, settlements and direct debit systems, as well as the UK’s network of nearly 60,000 ATMs. In 2018, we processed over 90 percent of salaries, more than 70 percent of household bills and almost all state benefits in the UK. 

For payments news and insights from Vocalink, visit