Why is Vocalink so important to UK Consumer?

Last year Vocalink processed 11 billion transactions,amounting to £6 trillion.

In United Kingdom;

  • Vocalink processed 90% of salaries.
  • Processed 70% of household bills.
  • Processedalmost 100% of all state benefits.
  • Almost every person in the UK benefits from Vocalink platforms.
  • Vocalink manages faster payments, BACS and Direct Debit systems.
  • Vocalink connects almost 70% of all ATMS in the United Kingdom.
  • Vocalink is synonymous with real time payments.

Shouldn’t Britain’s most important payment platform be owned by the Bank of England or be under supervision of the treasury?

There are two different perspectives:

  1. The government should not interfere with the payments business and should allow open competition to prevail.
  2. The government should step in and protect the most important payment network of this country, control it and run it …
Faster Paymenthas forever changed the way we work. Payments before/after Faster Payments are two different eras, just like a calendar is remembered in BC & AD. Such important work is carried out by a consortium of banks that created Vocalink and indeed made it one of the best payment systems in the world. Of course the banks don’t want to own it, they want to monetise their efforts as they have shareholders. However,it is beyond my comprehension as to why the government or the treasury will not step in to own the most important payment system that touches the lives of every British citizen and almost all of the UK’s residents.
As a global payments citizen, a citizen who believes in open competition and the prosperity of the world markets, Istart liking the idea of Vocalink being under the MasterCard umbrella. Undoubtedly, MasterCard is one of the better companies that have the abilityto take this platform around the world.It also has the prowess to put the impetus and finances forward to ensure Vocalink’s growth worldwide. Make it as important to the world as much as it is important to us here in the UK. As the MasterCard advert says, “Some things are priceless and for everything else, there is MasterCard “ The question for me, you and our government is simple;is this payments network priceless for us or are we going to use MasterCard?
CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “The Link ATM network provides an essential service for millions of customers. It’s important that Link has a good choice of providers when it comes to supplying the necessary infrastructure so it can take advantage of the opening up of payment systems to competition.” However, it’s not just about thechoice of providers for Link ATM. It is also about the unified payments in UK. PayByBank app is a technology platform owned by Vocalink, i.e. Vocalink is very close to enabling UK bank account holders make a direct payment to merchants without the need of any scheme like MasterCard, Visa, or any Credit and Debit cards but, by simply using their bank app on the phone. I think CMA should also question handing this capability to MasterCard. In future say the Bank Of England wants to go cashless or introduce a Crypto or get on Block chain, it is this backbone of unified payments that will be very important. Payments don’t makea lot of money but can drive economy and be the backbone of major government decisions.

Should we put our British interest first or be firm on our principle of being fair and open to business and competition? Should we give away the strongest payment network to a private company?

I am interested to hear any view points on this issue but more importantly on the below;

  1. The government should not interfere with the payments business and should allow open competition to prevail.

  2. The government should step in and protect the most important payment network of this country, control it and run it …

If you had a vote would it be 1 or 2?

Type 1 in comment if you believe in the first viewpoint and type 2 if you believe in the second viewpoint.

    Manoj Karkhanis