FAQ

What is Request to Pay?

Request to Pay is a messaging service that will give users more control over how they spend and receive money. It is being developed by Pay.UK, building on previous work by the Payment Strategy Forum (PSF). Additional information can be found in the Publication section of this site and on the Payments Strategy Forum website.

What is the developer portal?

The developer portal contains a library of the draft technical workings and requirements of the Request to Pay messaging standard. Alongside this is a sandbox that developers can connect to test apps and repositories.

Using the portal, interested parties can help us refine the technical specifications and create and test proof of concept solutions in a non-live environment.

Please note that the published specifications are not final and will change before the services’ launch. They are provided as draft for testing purposes only at developer portal users’ risk.

How can I send a request using Request to Pay?

You will need to sign up using one of the organisations that offer the service. Once you have signed up and connected your bank account, you will be able to send requests, using your provider and method of choice (app, web etc.).

There will be a list of trusted providers kept updated on our website once the service is live.

When will the Request to Pay service be available?

The service is due to be launched in Spring 2019 with the first Request to Pay service providers joining soon after. Keep checking our website to stay up to date with the latest news and progress.

How do I offer Request to Pay to my customers?

In order to offer the service, you will have to either develop a Request to Pay app or repository, or connect to an existing product offered by another company. Your customers will be able to sign in to your service using their Request to Pay Payment Address.

What’s the difference between Request to Pay and other similar services?

Similar services are not entirely open (i.e. requests can only be sent to and from people using the same provider) and limit how and when you can pay your contacts.

Request to Pay is unique as it will allow any user to send and receive requests, no matter whether their bank offers the service or not. Also, it gives you flexibility in managing your bills alongside payments to friends and family, regardless of the service they're using. You can then pay how you want and when you want.

How will this service impact Direct Debit?

Request to Pay is not a replacement for Direct Debit, but a complementary service tailored to a large proportion of the UK population which cannot benefit from using Direct Debit today.

These consumers and businesses often require greater flexibility in making and receiving payments.

Can any of the payment options be removed?

No, all the payment options (Pay All, Pay Partial, Request Extension, Decline) are requirements set by the Payments Strategy Forum. Therefore, these options must be included in any Request to Pay interface.

How can Request to Pay save my company money?

The service could help reduce costs, for example by giving you the ability to send invoices out as attachments potentially reducing postal fees and will help facilitate direct communication with your customers. It will also enable easy reconciliation of payments, because, as a biller, you will be setting the reference when requesting money. A study was undertaken to establish how much the service can save the UK economy, which is available for download on our Publications page.

Will resources be required within organisations to respond to messages/extension requests?

This will be a decision for a business looking to utilise Request to Pay. Due to the nature of the service, it is possible to automate responses using business logic, or integrate with existing customer service methods such as routing to a helpdesk.

Organisations could also suggest customers use existing methods of communication (e.g. telephone, email) if preferred.

Can I use Request to Pay if I don’t have a smartphone or computer?

We are currently working on a way to ensure the service is available to everyone in the UK. The aim is to create a way for you to access the service via the high street.

Am I automatically opted in to Request to Pay?

This will be a competitive decision. Some organisations may automatically create Request to Pay addresses for their existing customers. However, this does not mean that you have to use this address, you will be able to create and use as many (or few) Request to Pay addresses as you like.

Does Request to Pay only allow payments to be made using Faster Payments?

No, the service is entirely payment agnostic. This means that it will be up to the Request to Pay provider to determine what payments its customers are able to use. However it will be a requirement of the service that more than one payment option is offered.

Will this service enable people to avoid paying?

We believe the service will give those who currently cannot meet deadlines the ability to manage their bills more effectively. Contractual agreements will remain in place and failure to meet deadlines will result in the same consequences which exist today.