Country Analysis

United Kingdom


Real-Time Payments Launch


Real-Time Transactions



Real-Time Transactions Forecast



The United Kingdom Experiences 16% Real-Time Transaction Growth in 2022-2023

The payments industry in the U.K. is still tied strongly to card payments infrastructure. Real-time payments in the U.K. represented a 9.2% share of total payments volume in 2023, which is above the regional average of 7.8%. However, considering the U.K.’s Faster Payments Service (FPS), launched in 2008, was a regional pioneer, its position in the region is not as strong as might be expected.

Although the volume of real-time payments grew 16% year over year from 2022 to 2023, the share of real-time payments in the overall payments mix has declined in the U.K. since 2022. Other means of electronic payments — most notably cards and card-based mobile payments — are outstripping real-time payments in the U.K. By 2028, real-time payments will have overtaken paper-based transactions, reaching a 10.8% share of total payments volume, while electronic payments and paper-based payments will be at 80.9% and 8.3%, respectively.

Despite ambitious plans to overhaul real-time payments in the U.K. in the form of the New Payments Architecture (NPA) proposed in December 2017, repeated delays and scope revisions to the NPA have left the status of this project unclear. Other U.K. payment schemes have already migrated to ISO 20022; however, Faster Payments remains on the ISO 8583 standard. Following the Future of Payments Review published in 2023, U.K. instant payments modernization, known currently as NPA, is uncertain, with progress subject to the U.K.’s National Payments Vision due later in 2024.

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