Indirect Access (sponsored access)

Indirect Access (sponsored access)


An organisation is considered to have Indirect Access to a payment system if they have a contractual arrangement with an Indirect Access Provider (IAP) that already has Direct Access to that payment system This indirect access method is also commonly known as 'sponsored access' or 'agency banking' and provides an alternative to scheme membership.

An organisation accessing one or more payment service(s) through a sponsor bank (an organisation with Direct Access, that makes payment services commercially available) will be able to access the services of the payment scheme(s) to process payments but will not be a member of the payment scheme(s). Organisations accessing services in this way are commonly known as agency banks or Indirect Payment Service Providers (IPSPs).

Like payment scheme members, agency banks have an obligation to abide by scheme rules however, an IAP offering sponsored access will support an agency bank in understanding its obligations and how to comply with scheme rules for processing payments. 

To access payment services via this type of arrangement, you will need to engage with one or more of the existing sponsor organisations to discuss the services they can offer your business. 

The following organisations are currently Indirect Access Providers offering sponsored access to the main UK payment schemes:

A Voluntary Code of Conduct has been introduced which sets out standards of best practice for key elements of the commercial arrangements between Indirect Access Providers and Indirect PSPs. More information about this Code can be found here.