Faster Payments & NPA

The UK's real-time payments infrastructure

Will you be ready for enhanced real-time payments in the UK?

Icon is ideally positioned to work with banks to ensure readiness for significant upgrades to the UK’s real-time payments systems over the next 2-3 years, combining likely enhancements to the existing Faster Payments systems followed by delivery of a New Payments Architecture (NPA) programme.

NPA programme and Faster Payments enhancements

Arising from the UK’s industry-wide Payments Strategy Forum in 2016 and 2017, the NPA initiative was set up to deliver a state-of-the-art real-time payments infrastructure, providing enhanced resilience and security, adopting the ISO 20022 standard for richer payments data, and enabling a wide range of new payments products (including at point-of-sale) for end-users.

In autumn 2023, following the HM Treasury-commissioned Future of Payments Review report, the NPA programme was paused to enable HMT to prepare a National Payments Vision and Strategy for the UK. When this National Payments Vision is published, expected in second half of 2024, the future direction of the NPA programme will be decided by the industry, regulators and government.

During the NPA pause, Pay.UK has been asked by the PSR (in March 2024) to assess shorter-term options for enhancing Faster Payments, the UK’s existing near-real-time payments infrastructure. Pay.UK is expected to develop proposals and respond to the PSR during summer 2024. Proposals could include evolution towards adopting ISO 20022 data and API-based scheme connectivity.

How Icon can support you on Faster Payments, NPA and ISO 20022

Icon has over 10 years’ experience in real-time payments systems and architecture. We work with our clients on:

  • designing a target architecture and roadmap for real-time payments, and interlocking with other programmes
  • assessing investment cost implications for Faster Payments and NPA readiness across core systems and gateways, and product platforms and channels
  • planning the move to ISO 20022 data across payments systems end-to-end
  • designing new end-user payment products using enhanced scheme capabilities and leveraging our Payments Framework IPF
  • identifying opportunities for value-added services and differentiating capabilities, beyond core functionality

Would you like to find out how Icon can assist you on your Faster Payments and NPA journeys?


Delivering value to small business customers

Icon Solutions was engaged by the bank to propose an enhanced payments proposition for small and medium business customers and to recommend the best technical approach for deployment.