Accenture to help Bank of England with payments overhaul

14 August 2020 2 min. read
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The Bank of England has hired IT consulting firm Accenture to refresh a key part of the UK’s crucial payments system in a deal worth up to £150 million. The firm will overhaul the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service, the backbone of the country’s huge payments system.

The Bank of England’s Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service is the infrastructure which holds accounts for banks, building societies and other institutions delivering final and risk-free settlement. The service plays a central role in the UK economy, processing approximately £685 billion worth of transactions each working day. The Bank of England has been using the system as it is since 1996, but is currently looking to enhance it.

As digitalisation continues to transform the way that the financial sector functions, a programme of work has been established to deliver a renewed RTGS service. Expected to run until 2025, the Bank of England aims for this renewal to not only replicate the functionality provided today by the RTGS, but to deliver a range of new features and capabilities for payments and settlements between financial institutions.Accenture to help Bank of England with payments overhaulVictoria Cleland, the Bank of England’s director for payments, said of the initiative, “The renewal programme is a key priority not just for the Bank but also the wider UK payments industry. It will support a resilient financial system that protects the UK’s financial and monetary stability in the years to come. The renewed RTGS service will be designed not only to benefit everyone in the country who makes payments, but to keep the UK at the leading edge of payments innovation.”

Following a procurement process launched in February 2019, the Bank of England has appointed global consultancy Accenture to support the transformation of the RTGS. In this role, Accenture will be the technology delivery partner for the RTGS Renewal Programme, and will help the Bank of England deliver its new national payments infrastructure, which will include building and integrating the new RTGS platform and improving data access and providing a service that will support the financial services sector and their customers.

Sulabh Agarwal, Accenture’s Managing Director for its global payments practice, said, “The RTGS Renewal Programme will enable the Bank of England to enhance its critical infrastructure in one of the most important initiatives for the U.K. payments system. The rise of digital and instant payments in recent years has dramatically changed the way we pay, reflecting changes in the needs of households and companies. The renewed system will enable financial institutions to access a more modern and secure payments platform which is fit for the future.”