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UK Finance launches digital payment experimentation phase

  • 16/04/2024
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UK Finance launches digital payment experimentation phase
UK Finance has announced a Regulated Liability Network (RLN) experimentation phase, which will focus on the homebuying process among other activities.

Some 11 members of the organisation will take part in the programme, which will look at the options for people to make payments, transact and settle liabilities in digital marketplaces. 

The members involved in the experimentation phase include Barclays, Citi, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, Natwest, Nationwide, Santander, Standard Chartered, Virgin Money and VISA. They are being supported by EY and Linklaters and a technology team made up of R3, Quant, DXC and Coadjute.

The RLN is a financial market infrastructure (FMI) that operates on a shared ledger with central bank money, commercial bank money and electronic money on the same platform. 

Each regulated party can record, transfer and settle liabilities through the platform. 

The experimentation phases will assess the process of buying a home, improving customer transparency and minimising conveyancing fraud. 

It will also look at payment upon delivery for physical products to reduce fraud in online marketplaces, and a digital bond settlement to connect digital customer money to digital assets. 

The phase will run until this summer to determine the customer and business benefits, the technical possibilities and the legal framework. 


Exploring an ‘inclusive design for all digital money’

Jana Mackintosh, managing director of UK Finance, said: “We are delighted to bring together several of our members to explore an inclusive design for all digital money. It is important that the UK financial community works in close collaboration with public sector stakeholders to explore our common objective – to equip the UK with world-leading financial infrastructure.

“Our work is designed to inform the best way forward for all forms of regulated digital money.” 

Lee Braine, managing director of advanced technologies, chief technology office at Barclays, said he hoped the experiments would “provide insights into how a common platform for innovation could enhance customer experiences with new payments functionality and also mitigate the risk of fragmentation in retail payment markets”. 

Tom Wood, head of global payments solutions at HSBC UK, said the lender was “committed to exploring more efficient and secure payment alternatives” to benefit customers while maintaining privacy and safety. 

He said HSBC UK would be looking at the RLN for retail and wholesale use cases. 

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