Understanding PSR Regulations and the impact on your Business

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

What is the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR)?

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is an independent regulatory body in the United Kingdom that oversees and regulates payment systems and services. Established in 2014, the PSR operates under the framework of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 and aims to promote competition, innovation, and the interests of users within the payment industry. Its primary goal is to ensure that payment systems and services are fair, transparent, and efficient for both businesses and consumers.

The PSR’s responsibilities include setting rules and standards, promoting effective competition, and ensuring that payment systems operate in the best interest of users. It monitors and enforces compliance with regulations, investigates anti-competitive behaviour, and has the authority to impose penalties and sanctions when necessary. By regulating payment systems and services, the PSR strives to create an environment that encourages innovation, fosters fair competition, and safeguards the interests of merchants and consumers alike.

Through its initiatives, the PSR has played a significant role in driving positive changes in the payment industry. It has implemented measures to enhance transparency in payment systems, promote open banking, and improve the switching process for merchants. By working closely with stakeholders, including payment service providers, industry bodies, and consumer groups, the PSR aims to create a balanced and thriving payment ecosystem that benefits all participants.

In summary, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is a regulatory body dedicated to ensuring fair, transparent, and efficient payment systems and services. Through its regulatory oversight, the PSR promotes competition, innovation, and the interests of users, creating a level playing field for merchants and consumers in the ever-evolving payment landscape.


Benefits of Regularly Reviewing Your Card Payment Providers

Regularly reviewing your card payment providers is a proactive approach that can bring several benefits to your business. Here are a few key advantages of conducting periodic reviews

1. Cost Optimisation:

Payment processing fees and rates can vary among providers, and they may change over time. By reviewing your card payment providers regularly and switching accounts, you can assess if you are getting the best rates and identify opportunities for cost savings. This ensures that you are not paying more than necessary for your payment processing services.

2. Access to New Technologies:

The payment industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and features being introduced regularly. By reviewing your providers, you can stay updated on the latest advancements and ensure that you have access to cutting-edge payment solutions. This can include features like mobile payments, e-commerce integrations, and contactless payment options, which can enhance customer convenience and satisfaction.

3. Enhanced Security Measures:

Security is a paramount concern for businesses handling customer payment information. Regularly reviewing your card payment providers allows you to assess the security measures in place and ensure they align with the latest industry standards. This helps protect your business and customers from potential data breaches and fraudulent activities.

4. Improved Customer Experience:

The payment process plays a crucial role in the overall customer experience. By conducting regular reviews of your card payment providers, you can evaluate the quality of their services and customer support. This evaluation enables you to identify any areas that may be causing friction in the payment process and take steps to address them. By providing a seamless and efficient payment experience, you enhance customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

5. Flexibility and Scalability:

As your business grows, your payment processing needs may change. Regularly reviewing your card payment providers allows you to assess if they can scale with your business and accommodate your evolving requirements. This flexibility ensures that you have the capacity to handle increasing transaction volumes and adapt to changing market trends.

6. Maintaining a Competitive Advantage:

The payment industry is highly competitive, with providers constantly striving to offer better services and features. By regularly reviewing your card payment providers, you can stay informed about new market entrants and advancements. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and potentially switch providers if a more suitable option becomes available. By leveraging the latest technologies and services, you can maintain a competitive edge and position your business for success.


PSR (Payment Systems Regulator) and How it Helps Businesses

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in the UK plays a crucial role in fostering transparency and fairness within the payment systems industry. One of the ways in which the PSR accomplishes this is by imposing limits on contract lengths between payment systems operators and their customers. By restricting excessively long contract terms, the PSR ensures that businesses have the flexibility to switch providers if they find better options or if their needs change. This promotes healthy competition and prevents lock-in situations where businesses are tied to unfavourable contracts.

Additionally, the PSR works towards creating transparency by requiring payment systems operators to provide clear and accessible information regarding their services, fees, and terms. This empowers businesses to make informed decisions and enables them to compare different providers based on their offerings, ensuring a level playing field and driving competition in the industry. Through these measures, the PSR promotes a transparent and competitive payment systems landscape that benefits businesses and consumers alike.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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