2. Research your obligations and options


Researching your obligations and options is another key task alongside defining your business proposition.

Regulatory and licencing considerations
Depending on your business proposition, you may be obliged to be authorised or hold a licence to enable you to legally operate and offer products and services to your customers; there are also likely to be regulations your business will need to comply with as a result of your business activities. Information on the licences and regulations that apply to those who offer banking and payment services and the process to obtain the relevant authorisation or licence(s) can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

Interbank payments
Having a knowledge of interbank payments and the services that are operated in the UK will enable you to consider your customers’ needs and your options based on the requirements of your business proposition, and the products and services you wish to offer.

This website provides a high-level overview of the various UK interbank payment schemes and their offerings and contains links to the individual scheme sites where you will find in-depth information on the payment services covered by that scheme. The site also gives an overview of the options and steps involved in accessing interbank payment services – namely scheme membership or sponsored access.

Researching the options available to you will help you make an informed choice that is right for your business.

The Bank of England provides some high-level information on its financial market infrastructure supervision responsibilities and on interbank payments.

Settlement services
Settlement can involve the services of a central bank. In order to settle your payment obligations, you may need your own, or access to, a settlement/reserve account at the Bank of England.  More information on settlement and reserve accounts can be found on the Bank of England website.

Details of the application process for RTGS accounts can also be found on the Bank of England website.

Access criteria
A payment scheme's access criteria may also require organisations to hold the appropriate operational licenses. Each payment scheme may have different access criteria; details of these can be found on the individual scheme websites.