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PhonepayPlus consults on its Business Plan and Budget 2014/15

4 December 2013

PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator of premium rate services (PRS), today issues a public consultation on its Business Plan and Budget 2014/15 – Adding Value in a Complex and Converging Market.

In a period in which the market for services delivered to a telephone or similar device is rapidly changing, creating challenges for industry and the regulator alike, PhonepayPlus sets out its plans to continue to deliver effective and forward-looking regulation. The PhonepayPlus Business Plan 2014/15 is structured around the following themes and priorities:

  • Strengthening compliance and enforcement – PhonepayPlus will work with industry to build compliance through improved due diligence, risk assessment and control, make sure that polluters pay for the harm that they cause in the market and help to ensure that affiliate marketing is used compliantly.
  • Improving the customer experience – PhonepayPlus will work with industry to raise standards of customer care and redress, further improve its own customer support and further develop protections for vulnerable consumers.
  • Future proof regulation – PhonepayPlus will work with industry, regulators and other partners to tackle the increasing risk from new online and security threats, update and future proof its Code of Practice and work with Government and other bodies to ensure that the regulatory framework for low-value digital purchases, such as premium rate services, keeps pace with changes in the market.
  • Enhancing regulatory efficiency and effectiveness – PhonepayPlus will further strengthen its partnership working with other bodies and continue to improve its business systems and processes.

The proposed overall cost of regulation for 2014/15 is £4,444,645 including VAT. Following four years’ of budget reductions, the proposed cost of regulation for 2014/15 represents an increase of 3.3% in cash terms and 0.7% in real terms taking account of the current rate of inflation. PhonepayPlus considers that this modest budget increase is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of regulation in a fast-changing market where both the volume and complexity of the work we are dealing with has been increasing and where these trends are likely to continue.

The Registration Scheme budget is presented as a separate budget in the consultation published today. PhonepayPlus is proposing that from April next year the registration fee, for those eligible to pay, be increased from £135+VAT to £150+VAT. This will help to ensure that the costs of the scheme are covered and that the initial upfront costs are paid back over time, whilst also avoiding creating barriers to market entry that a more significant fee increase could have entailed.

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 22 January 2014.

The full Business Plan & Budget 2014/15 Consultation can be viewed here.