Pay.UK Covid and Retail

Whenever there is a crisis, in the background there are superb people reinventing the normal and making sure that the crisis is contained and managed well.  Inevitably this means that people need to collaborate more and share experiences and innovations.  It’s a time to set aside silos and work together.  Well the pandemic was no different.

Faced with an enormous problem about how to ensure all the government  initiatives to fund business to retain staff, continue to trade, get people and businesses access to government grants, Number 10 turned to Pay.UK and others in the payment industry for help.  And help they did.

On a webinar this morning Paul Horlock CEO Of Pay.UK outlined the activities that were undertaken to support the government’s efforts to get payments to the right people on time.

I found the webinar interesting and Paul said it was being recorded – I’d urge Paul to release it to the general public as it was so informative and share the lessons that were learnt.

The main takeaways were:

  • Cash usage went down but is beginning to recover but the expectation is that it won’t attain the levels prior to the pandemic.
  • Bacs, Faster Payments and CHAPS volumes increased but not as had been forecasted as the virus impacted growth as businesses declined.
  • Cheques were the big loser and there was a significant decline.  Mainly due to the fact that cheques are seen as something you use when you interact with people.
  • Competition was replaced by collaboration across the board as regulators and PSP’s needed to work together together to minimise the impact the virus had on commerce.
  • VocaLink successfully transitioned over 1,000 people to working from home with no impact on the delivery of the UK’s core payment services.
  • Everybody co-operated to make sure access to benefits and grants was as easy as possible with little impact on people, especially the vulnerable ones.
  • Proponents of agile working were proven right – it does work, it does deliver.
  • There hasn’t been a significant rise in fraud proving that the recent focus on regulatory measures was timely.

The panel on the webinar was:

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