The new faster payments service to be introduced by APACS (Association for Payment Clearing Services), originally set for launch in November, is to be further delayed until May 2008.
It was announced in July that certain aspects would be delayed until next year, but today APACS said that none of the new system’s features will become available until the end of May.
APACS said: “The revised timescale will allow sufficient time for the further rigorous testing required at both the centre and by banks to ensure customers can benefit from safe and secure faster payments.”
The new service will change the way payments are made in the UK, creating a new central infrastructure that will deliver faster payments online, by telephone and standing order.
The OFT has released a statement in response, which expresses its disappointment that the date has been pushed back further, “despite a commitment by the banking industry to have the new system in place by the end of November 2007 as agreed by the Payments Systems Task Force.
“The OFT believes that faster funds transfers will help consumers manage their finances better, including making it easier to avoid unauthorised overdrafts and getting a better deal on interest rates. The OFT will continue to liaise with APACS in the coming months on this matter.”
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