NEW Code 15 (comes into force on 5 April 2022)

What is Code 15 and when does it take effect
Code 15 is the new PSA Code of Practice which sets out Standards and Requirements that providers of phone-paid services must comply with. This will replace the current Code 14.

Code 15 introduces a new approach to regulation by:

  • raising expectations in the market by replacing outcomes with regulatory Standards
  • focusing on the prevention of harm rather than cure
  • being simpler to implement and comply with.

Code 15 will come into force on 5 April 2022. 

Download Code 15

Download Statement on Code 15

What we expect industry to do and when

We expect providers to  make any necessary changes to the way they operate, including how they promote and operate services in order to comply with the new Code by 5 April 2022.

What are the main changes with Code 15
Many requirements of special conditions and parts of current guidance have been brought into Code 15, which makes it much simpler to understand and navigate than Code 14.

Code 15 introduces ten regulatory Standards which are easy to understand and provide regulatory certainty while enabling innovation and retaining flexibility to support good services and a healthy market.

 Key changes brought by Code 15:

  • Code 15 introduces supervision – this is a completely new approach, designed to enable and support providers in achieving compliance and preventing harm from occurring 
  • Consumer facing Standards:
      - a new overarching Integrity Standard designed to promote good behaviour
      - enhanced Transparency Requirements which will enable consumers to make fully informed decisions about services they want to purchase
      - a Requirement for receipts to be sent after following mobile transactions
      - enhanced Fairness Requirements to ensure consumers are treated fairly and are able to provide informed consent to charge
      - multi-factor authentication will be required to establish consent to charge for all services accessed fully or in part online as well subscription services, recurring donation services and society lotteries
      - consumer must be sent annual subscription reminder messages (except where the service is a recurring donation)
      - enhanced Customer care Requirements to ensure consumers receive excellent customer care, are able to have complaints resolved and refunds provided promptly and easily
      - a new Vulnerability Standard designed to protect vulnerable consumers. 
  • Organisational Standards:
      - enhanced organisation and service information Requirements to ensure the PSA has accurate and detailed information about providers and the services they are offer
      - enhanced due diligence, risk assessment and control on clients (DDRAC) Requirements designed to support prevention of harm rather than cure
      - a new Systems Standard to ensure secure payments, consent verification and exit from services.
  • a new approach to engagement and enforcement:
      - strengthened and expanded information gathering powers 
      - new engagement powers that will allow us to address less serious issues of non-compliance through agreed action plans
      - more secure interim measures, easier settlement processes and more efficient adjudications where formal enforcement is required.

How to prepare for implementing Code 15 into your services
We will support industry members prepare and get ready ahead of Code 15 coming into force through workshops and compliance advice.

We’ll start holding workshops/webinars at the beginning of 2022, all workshops will be listed on our Events page. To not miss out,  sign up to our news emails and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to hear when they become available.

For any Code 15 questions you might have, please email us at compliance@psauthority.org.uk.