UK Payments Administration
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|Predecessor||Association for Payment Clearing Services|
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The UK Payments Administration Ltd (UKPA) (previously APACS, the Association for Payment Clearing Services) is a United Kingdom trade organisation that brings together all payment systems organisations and gives banks, building societies and card issuers a forum where they can work together on non-competitive issues. It covers most forms of payments within the UK including cash, credit cards, debit cards, cheques, and automated payments such as direct debits, salary payments and online/phone transactions.
UKPA was created on 6 July 2009, as a direct successor of the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) to act as a portal company for each of the respective sectors of UK payment services such as BACS, CHAPS, the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, and other businesses.
The UKPA standards define both procedural and technical practice for:
- Debits (including cheques)
- Standing order mandates
- Coin packaging and banknote wrappers
- Magnetic media interchange
- Interchange data formats
- EFTPOS device communications
- Other services
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, APACS coordinated the UK adoption of Chip and PIN smartcards.
In December 2005, the association of banks started the Faster Payments Service initiative to improve the speed of lower value consumer and business transactions, to be used in parallel with the CHAPS and BACS systems. Faster Payments began operation in 2008.
As APACS, it managed Card Watch, a UK banking industry initiative that aimed to raise awareness of card fraud prevention; now superseded by Financial Fraud Action UK.
- Payments Council, payments industry body that sets strategy for UK payments