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NatWest mobile banking app service could be good for consumer and retailer bank balances

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NatWest users are set to be able to pay using just a banking app rather than a card as it becomes the first bank to introduce a ’Request to Pay’ smartphone app. The move could also save retailers millions in card handling fees, says the bank.

The bank is leveraging Open Banking compliant APIs (application programme interface) brought about by the second EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), introduced at the start of 2018 and it’s direct connection to the UK’s Faster Payment Service to allow consumers or entities to pay ’card-free’ for goods directly from their bank account. App-users will be able to see the balance on their account, updated in real-time.

The app is designed to deliver the seamless experience of managing day-to-day finances by using something consumers are so attached to; their smartphone.

Retailers also have an opportunity to take advantage of lower payment processing fees and lower fraud costs via direct usage of bank-grade security, which avoids the need to obtain the consumer’s sensitive data-highlighting a benefit for retailers in the current GDPR world.

“The core concept behind the new technology is ‘Request to Pay’: The person or entity that wants to be paid for goods or services asks to be paid via a trusted third party who then routes the payment request to the consumer’s bank. The bank then uses a secure mobile app to present the ‘Request to Pay’ to the consumer so they can choose an account, check the balance, and make the payment,” comments Dean Wallace, practice lead at ACI Worldwide.

He continues:“In 2016 Vocalink launched a ‘Request to Pay’ service in the UK known as PaybyBank App. In the next few months, we expect similar services to launch in the UK and Europe, made possible through Open Banking, the wider pan-European PSD2 regulation and the roll-out of several new Instant Payments schemes.”

Picture credit: Fotolia

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