The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given go ahead for the planned merger of Bacs Payment Schemes, Faster Payments Scheme, and Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, to form a new payments systems operator.

The consolidation is aimed at creating a single, integrated, retail payment system operator and boost competition in the payments and banking industry.

The move will streamline access to payment systems and deliver the New Payments Architecture being developed with the Payments Strategy Forum.

In a statement, Bank of England said, “The consolidation aims to further develop the capability and capacity of the operators by bringing them within a single organisation and reduces the complexity and costs of having three separate retail payment system operators (PSOs).”

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and the Bank of England have already agreed to a delivery plan, with the merger of the three independent schemes is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The united entity will be for taking forward the next stage of the development of the New Payments Architecture (NPA), an industry-led initiative that aims to boost competition across the payments and banking industry.

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Payment System Operator Delivery Group independent chair Robert Stansbury, said: “We have made significant headway towards redefining the way in which the three PSOs will operate in the future.

“A single consolidated PSO would simplify access to, and the governance of, payment systems, helping to drive innovation and competition across the UK industry.

“But while good progress has been made, support from across the industry is vital and significant collaborative work still needs to be done if the plan is to be delivered successfully and the benefits of the consolidation unlocked.”