||<p>The Government set up the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to protect consumers
from the harm that can be caused by bad conduct in the financial services industry.
In 2015, it also set up the world’s only Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) with a statutory
objective to ensure that payment systems are operated in a way that takes account
of users’ needs.</p><p> </p><p>The FCA is the UK’s competent authority for the Payment
Services Regulations (PSRs) 2017. The PSRs aim to make payments safer and more secure
and protect consumers. As set out in these regulations, if a payment transaction (be
that a bank transfer or debit card payment) is not properly authorised by the customer,
the customer’s bank or payment service provider must refund the amount of the transaction
to the payer. For authorised payment scams, where the customer has authorised a bank
transfer but the money has been paid to a fraudulent recipient, the PSR has brought
together consumer representatives and banks to produce an industry code of conduct
to address this issue. Launched in May 2019, the code sets out agreed principles for
greater protection of consumers and the circumstances in which they will be reimbursed,
marking a significant step in delivering improved protections for customers.</p><p>
</p><p>Regarding debit card charges, the UK implemented the EU’s Interchange Fee Regulation
in 2015 which introduced a cap on one of the key fees applicable to card payments.
The European Commission is in the process of reviewing the effectiveness of this regulation
as part of its usual process. The PSR, who is the UK’s lead competent authority for
the Interchange Fee Regulation, is also conducting a review into the supply of card-acquiring
services. Amongst other things, this review will examine the fees merchants pay for
these services.</p><p> </p>The Government is open to hearing views on this issue,
and digital payments more broadly, as evidenced by its Call for Evidence on Cash and
Digital Payments in the New Economy.