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Supporting growth and innovation: 6 month pilot launched

07 August 2017, Mark Collins, Head of Regulatory Development

Here at the Phone-paid Services Authority we’re committed to furthering the interests of consumers by encouraging competition, growth and innovation. Indeed, in our view, good regulation both protects consumers from harm and allows innovation to flourish.

In recent years, we’ve adapted our rules and regulation to support numerous providers to launch services that consumers enjoy. For example, we worked with the charities sector to adapt our requirements to allow for a better donation experience. Charities now generate more than £110 million in donations via text per annum. Likewise, we worked with app stores to enable them to offer the option of operator billing. Since we launched a pilot in 2014, consumers can now charge app store purchases, like Google Play and Microsoft Windows App store, direct to their phone bill.

In both instances, consumer satisfaction and trust are high. The consumer offering is clear, the purchase experience is trusted and there are obvious routes to redress.

The new pilot
We have announced a new 6-month pilot that would allow some Level 2 merchants to be exempt from registration. The new pilot is intended to make it easier for Level 1s to ‘on-board’ clients that may want to use operator billing as a payment option, among others. In other words, operator billing should be easier to implement, allowing the industry to attract new merchants who may not be familiar with the payment method. The approach builds on and learns from our previous app store scheme.

But this should not come at the expense of consumers. The exemption is based on Level 2 providers operating exclusively through Level 1s who have been pre-approved to take part in the pilot. This it to ensure that anyone participating in the pilot can demonstrate they are achieving their Code obligations through other means. Participation is also dependent on Level 1s having a good compliance record.

How and when to apply
The pilot will run from 4th September. Interested parties should read the notice and contact our compliance team for further information

Please note: participation in the pilot is subject to Level 1s applying to take part.

As always, we are open to hearing from providers who feel that our regulation is getting in the way of them offering services consumers enjoy.

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