They're quite aware of what they're going through...

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…

The Bank of England (BoE) is opening up access to settlement accounts in its real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with the goal to promote fintech innovation and competition.

The bank says it’s extending access to non-bank payment service providers (PSPs), offering direct access to the UK’s sterling payment systems.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury have been working alongside the bank to develop a framework for non-bank PSPs to access RTGS.

Now with things sorted out, these PSPs will be subject to a supervisory assessment. Applications will first need to be reviewed by the payment schemes and BoE. For further details on how to apply, the bank says PSPs should contact the relevant payment scheme it wishes to join.

This development follows on from the BoE’s well-documented desire for changes.

Back in September 2016, BoE published a consultation paper on the RTGS service with the statement that its proposals are “intended to provide broader access, higher resilience, greater interoperability, and a wider range of user functionality compared to the RTGS of today”.

While in May this year, the bank released its blueprint for a renewed RTGS – including plans to interface with blockchain and deal with APIs.