Published on 29th August 2023

This is my response to the Future of Payments’ call for input.

You can download it here.

The call for input used that terrible cliché ‘payment journeys’, and I re-interpreted that as meaning journeys to a utility room to rinse out and eradicate Retained EU Law and the wider market practices, ways-of-thinking, detriments and trends that constitute the direction-of-travel in UK payments.

These embrace the attack on cash and the burial of cheques and face-to-face banking generally, the easy ride given to Fintech by UK regulators in not clamping down on abusive practices, the failure to solve Authorised Push Payment Fraud (a gift from Fintech to the UK public), and the topic of the hour – de-banking.

Most of all we need to eliminate the colossal financial subsidy to the digital payments industry in the form of Deductions-from-face-value on card payments. These are in the region of 3% of that portion of UK GDP paid for by payment cards. They fall on merchants initially but are factored into higher prices paid by all UK citizens and businesses, and contribute to inflation.

This is the subsidy that needs to go, along with 40 or so other detriments and problems so as to return the UK to the status quo ante and thereby close the gap between the economic interests of the digital payments industry on the one hand and the wishes and interests of customers – i.e. wider society – on the other.