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EPA releases guidance to campaign for open access to bank accounts

Wednesday 17 March 2021 13:13 CET | News

The Emerging Payments Association (EPA) has released its updated guidance to continue its work of campaigning for increased open access to accounts and payments within the UK. 

Titled EPA’s Guide to Payment Account Providers: 2021 edition, the updated piece was done in partnership with the Association of Foreign Exchange and Payment Companies. Traditionally, banks have served consumers and corporates but with the evolving needs of payment service providers (PSPs) and merchants in today’s world when it comes to payment method/capability, the market must cater to wider range of clients, some of whom have different requirements and some of whom pose more risks. However, following the financial crash in 2008 and a series of de-risking events in 2012 and 2013, banks were told to lower their overall risk profile and closely monitor their compliance. As a result, banks began closing customers’ accounts, restricting access for new customers, with this felt most by small businesses and the fintech sector. Today, de-risking continues to threaten progress made in reducing remittance prices and fees, global AML/CFT objectives, and financial inclusion more broadly.

At the start of 2021, the EPA teamed up with the AFEP to reach out to payment account providers from the across the industry, bringing together huge amounts of data into one helpful guidebook for players in the market looking for a payment account. The EPA’s Project Banking Access team worked with over 20 organisations offering payment accounts for this 2021 edition of the guidebook, including 10 of the biggest banks in the industry, alongside 12 non-bank financial institutions, both within and beyond the EPA community.

The providers who took part described how to gain access to Payment Systems, including their eligibility criteria, risk appetite, product capabilities, and how to contact them. This will help many firms across the industry to choose and keep their banking partner. Although there are still criticisms the industry is not open enough, this report highlights the importance of open relationships between PSPs and their clients and will help to both highlight and address the current issues around de-risking by banks.


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Keywords: EPA, PSP, banks, risk management
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Online Payments
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce