Open Banking payments platform Token, the leading Open Banking enabler for Europe’s payments industry, today announces it will enter into an agreement with NatWest Group to offer Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) for non-sweeping services.
The news, a significant industry development, was delivered by Token’s Chief Product Officer Charles Damen and NatWest Group’s Head of Open Banking Daniel Globerson during a panel session on VRP at Open Banking Expo UK in London.
This means NatWest Group now has agreements with six payment providers to offer VRP as a new payment method.
Token already offers VRP capabilities for sweeping, the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person, across major UK banks. This can be applied to existing use cases like credit card repayments, as well as to help consumers minimise overdraft fees and maximise interest on savings.
NatWest Group is the first UK bank to go beyond the requirement for banks to provide VRP for sweeping by offering VRP as a new payment option for businesses and consumers. Non-sweeping use cases include providing a convenient alternative to existing payment options, such as direct debits and online card payments.
Token also has plans to make VRP for non-sweeping services available through other leading banks in the United Kingdom. The company is currently working with Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and merchants to establish trials for non-sweeping services that will ultimately deliver a frictionless user experience across a range of use cases, including e-commerce payments.
Charles Damen, Chief Product Officer, Token, said: “VRP came through the CMA9 mandate as a compliance element, but the technology can be used for wider applications – the non-sweeping use cases.”
“Our research is hugely encouraging, highlighting that the industry sees a lot of potential in these new enhancements and in premium APIs with compensation for banks. What NatWest Group has been doing is very important and is forging a path for other banks to follow. Banks that get involved now will really benefit from these early learnings and have a chance to grow the models they can implement for the new API economy.”
Daniel Globerson, Head of Bank of APIs at NatWest Group, commented: “As a relationship bank for a digital world, we’re committed to offering innovative and convenient payment methods to businesses and consumers. VRP brings greater simplicity, control and flexibility to payments. It’s fast, cost-efficient and uses the very latest in bank API technology.”
Todd Clyde, CEO, Token, added: “This is a massive development for Token, and for the future of payments. We’re delighted to be working with NatWest Group to unlock the full potential of VRP and look forward to engaging with more industry players. If financial institutions and fintechs work together, we have a tremendous opportunity to create a balanced, practical approach that will deliver on the promise for VRP to enhance consumers’ and businesses’ financial lives. Get it right, and VRP will ignite explosive growth for Open Banking-enabled account-to-account (A2A) payments. I think 2023 will be a very exciting year.”
NatWest Group previously announced that the first non-sweeping VRP payments were made earlier this year by NatWest customers to Charity Right, an international charity that provides children with nutritious daily school meals, and to Pink Chilli, a lettings software provider.
Now, by teaming up with Token, NatWest Group will be able to unlock a wider range of use cases for VRP.
To support this pioneering work, Token has launched an industry survey report on VRP, which reveals that industry participants see the three most compelling non-sweeping use cases as subscription service payments, utility bill payments, and one-click e-commerce payments. A third (32%) of respondents believe a frictionless user experience (with no Strong Customer Authentication [SCA]) will be the main factor driving user adoption of VRP for non-sweeping services.
Thanks to innovations like VRP, Open Banking payments are predicted to exceed US$116 billion in 2026, from just under US$4 billion in 2021, representing a staggering 2800% increase in just five years.
With best-in-class Open Banking connectivity for AIS and PIS in the UK and Europe, Token’s white label-ready platform is designed to enable payment service providers and gateways to efficiently launch and successfully manage Open Banking-enabled A2A payment propositions. Token’s connectivity network reaches over 250 million potential end-users of Open Banking payments. Earlier this month, Token took home the prestigious ‘Open Banking Innovation’ Platinum award from the Juniper Future Digital Awards.