[Dave Birch] I got caught out in a meeting referring to the APACS Card Payment Group, which of course no longer exists. I thought I’d render a quick public service to help other people to avoid similar mistakes. Here’s your handy cut-out-and-keep guide to the UK’s new payment organisation landscape.

The Payments Council was created in March 2007 to set out the national strategy for UK payments. It has a Payments Council Board made up of banking representatives, some independent directors and an independent chairman (Brian Pomeroy). The principal UK payment schemes (listed below) have a contract with the Payments Council to set out rights and duties.

The UK Cards Association is the successor the much-loved APACS Card Payments Group (CPG). It is the trade body for the UK cards industry. Its 14 members, the major card issuers and acquirers, work together here on non-competitive issues.

Financial Fraud Action UK was created earlier this year to work alongside the UK Cards Association on the specific issue of reducing fraud.

The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a specialist law enforcement unit made up from officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police and funded by the banking industry. It investigates serious and organised cheque and card fraud.

SWIFT (UK) Limited is the membership organisation representing the UK’s SWIFT users.

The principal UK payment schemes are

  • BACS. Originally the Bankers Automated Clearing System, BACS (owned by 15 banks and building societies) runs the two principal retail inter-bank payment systems: Direct Debit and BACS Direct Credit. it handles about four trillion quid a year.
  • CHAPS. Originally the Clearing House Automated Payment System, CHAPS runs two national payment systems: The CHAPS real-time gross settlement (RTGS) bank-to-bank system for high-value and “critical” domestic payments which carries more than a trillion quid per week and the Faster Payments Service (FPS) that allows retail customers of the (currently) 13 member banks and building societies to transfer money between accounts within two hours.
  • LINK. The LINK Scheme brings together card issuers and ATM operators in a national interoperable network of more than 60,000 cash machines that dispensed nearly two hundred billion quid over the last year.
  • Additionally, there are the UK Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme, the Belfast Banker’s Clearing Company and the Currency Clearings.

See, simple.

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]


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