Request for information for infrastructure renewal

Following Faster Payments Scheme Limited’s (FPSL) request for expressions of interest for the renewal and associated full management of the infrastructure and services that enable the UK’s 24/7, real-time, push payment service to function consistently and securely, FPSL is pleased to confirm it has received a number of expressions of interest from interested parties.

Expressions of interest have been received from the following:

Accenture First Derivatives PLC RS Software (India) Ltd
ACI FIS Global RS2 Software
Aurion Pro HWG Setl
Amazon Web Services Inc. IBM UK Ltd Six Degrees Group
Bearing Point Icon Solutions (UK) Limited Softjourn
BlueChain Inform GmbH Sopra Steria Group SA
Capita Kalypton Group Limited STET SA
Compass Plus Interoute TAS SpA
DXC Lusis S.A. TCS
EBA Clearing with SIA Microsoft Tiesto Corporation
equensWorldline SE Montran Unisys
Equiniti Limited Nets Denmark A/S Visa
Equinix New Link Consulting Vocalink/Mastercard
Exponential-e-limited Omnipayments WorldPay
Featurespace Oracle  
Finastra Red Hat  

Once the relevant checks have been carried out (as outlined in the initial expression of interest publication) and subject to an appropriate non-disclosure agreement with FPSL, eligible parties will progress to the Request for Information (RFI) stage. This second stage of a three-stage process is for FPSL to select a strategic partner to deliver a key element of the New Payments Architecture. Together with FPSL, the strategic partner will drive innovation and enable new technologies to be leveraged, ensuring the successor to the Faster Payments Service remains safe and secure while catering for the advent, scale and development of future payment solutions.

The RFI stage will serve as an open opportunity for:

  • FPSL to gain the broadest view of the market and ensure it procures the best available services
  • Interested parties to engage with FPSL
  • Information to be gathered about the solution

The RFI, associated questionnaire, and the high level requirements for the service will be made available to eligible parties before the end of November, subject to entering into an appropriate non-disclosure agreement with FPSL. The questionnaire will invite parties to provide further information, suggestions and approaches to the challenges outlined in the requirements.

Innovation and thought leadership will be welcomed. All parties will have the opportunity to ask for clarification or expansion on any questions in dedicated Q&A sessions.

Please note that neither this process nor FPSL fall within the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as may be amended from time to time) or any other form of UK or EU procurement legislation.

The remaining phases of the procurement process are listed below:

Request for Information (RFI) (end November 2017)

Subject to entering into an appropriate non-disclosure agreement with FPSL, eligible parties following review of the EOIs will receive an RFI questionnaire, inviting them to provide further information, suggestions and approaches to the challenges outlined in the document.

Request for Proposal (RFP) (Q2 2018)

Those parties who responded to the RFI questionnaire will receive an RFP questionnaire and a copy of the draft contract, and will be invited to provide detailed information on the questions posed. Additionally, they will be asked to provide timelines with supporting costs and resource requirements. All responding parties will also be expected to accept the terms and conditions of the contract or, where applicable, to comment on any exceptions to the contract.

RFP responses will be reviewed and scored by an FPSL panel applying the same rigour and criteria to all responding parties, and the scoring will determine which parties are shortlisted for final selection.

Shortlisted parties will be invited to present to an FPSL panel and a Best and Final Offer may be requested. Depending on whether reference customers are provided, additional visits to reference sites by the FPSL panel may be carried out.  Parties not shortlisted will have the opportunity to have a follow-up session with feedback on the rationale for non-selection.

The timelines outlined above are indicative only.   FPSL reserves the right not to award any contract, to make whatever changes it sees fit to the structure and timing of the procurement or to cancel the procurement at any time. 

A vendor information pack with background detail on the project can be found here.

Contract award

After an evaluation period, the successful bidder will be notified, as will the bidder selected as the ‘preferred reserve’. All parties will be notified of their outcome and unsuccessful parties will have the opportunity to have feedback on the rationale for non-selection.

Further questions

Questions and communications should be routed via the dedicated mailbox using the same address used for submission of the EOI, No direct contact should be made with teams or individuals within FPSL. Any communications regarding procurement directly addressed to individuals within FPSL will be deleted and will not receive a response.

General provisions

This RFI update is not a recommendation by FPSL or any other person to enter into any agreement or to make any decision. In considering any participation in this procurement, each potential bidder should make its own independent assessment and seek its own legal and financial advice.

FPSL is not bound to accept any offer resulting from this procurement. Nothing in this RFI update or any other document is to be construed as implying commitment by FPSL or any other person that a contract will be awarded. FPSL, its officers and employees, its agents and advisers are not and shall not be liable for any costs incurred by those expressing an interest or tendering for this procurement, their associated entities or any other person.

This RFI update does not purport to contain all of the information that an interested party may require. None of FPSL, its officers and employees, its agents or advisers make any representations or warranties (express or implied) or accept any liability or responsibility (other than in respect of fraudulent misrepresentation) in relation to the adequacy, accuracy, reasonableness or completeness of the information provided as part of this procurement or any part of it.

Parties are responsible for ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest either between their own advisers or those of FPSL. Parties must notify FPSL as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes aware of any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.

The information provided to interested parties is made available on the condition that interested parties shall not:

  • disclose, copy, reproduce, distribute or pass the information to any other person at any time or allow any of these things to happen; and
  • use the information for any purpose other than for the purposes of preparing their responses.

Any party who, in FPSL’s opinion, breaches any of the requirements of this section may at FPSL’s sole discretion be disqualified (without prejudice to any other civil remedies available to FPSL and without prejudice to any criminal liability which such conduct may attract).

FPSL reserves the right to exclude proposals that may risk FPSL failing to comply with its regulatory obligations.


What is Faster Payments Scheme Ltd (FPSL) procuring?

The procurement being led by FPSL is for the real-time 24*7 push payment clearing and settlement risk management system, an element of the New Payments Architecture (NPA).  The NPA will replace the Faster Payments System. Once Faster Payments becomes part of the New Payment System Operator (NPSO), which is consolidating the UK’s retail payment schemes, the NPSO will be responsible for further stages of the procurement process as well as the development of the rules and standards for the other components of the NPA.

Please could you confirm whether you are looking for a company to host the already existing systems (set up by Vocalink), or are you looking for new systems to deploy?

We are looking for a strategic partner to design, build, test and deploy a new system and to manage the subsequent service and associated infrastructure.

When do potential vendors for one or more element of the procurement need to advise Faster Payments who they are partnering up with?

This would only become relevant to FPSL at the RFP (‘request for proposal’) stage.  At both EOI (‘expression of interest’) and RFI (‘request for information’) submission, there is no requirement to have any arrangements in place with other solution suppliers.   Where any arrangements are already in place, these can be declared at EOI stage, but both RFI and RFP will request confirmation of any changes in partnerships as part of a consortium.

What will FPSL be disclosing post EOI?

FPSL will disclose the names of interested parties, but no details as to the elements each party may be interested in.

Do you have any geographic location requirements for data centre or service support centres?

We currently have no firm requirements as to the location of your operations. However you should note that as the outcome of broader issues such as Brexit become clearer, this may have an impact on our thinking

What is meant by "NPA-compliant"?

This procurement is for the real-time, 24/7 clearing layer articulated in the Payment Strategy Forum's New Payments Architecture (NPA). At this stage the processing of bulk, unattended, payments is not within the scope of the procurement. However over time the approach to the handling of these transactions will become clearer. Possible outcomes are the creation of a separate clearing infrastructure, on a non-similar basis, or a repositioning of "bulk processing" as an overlay solution, with resultant individual transactions processed on the  real-time, 24/7 clearing system. Resilience, substitutability, performance implications and economic consequences of processing will be some of the factors that will determine the ultimate approach. Vendors should, in any case, be considering scalability of their solutions to meet demand that is orders of magnitude greater than today's Faster Payment volumes, to cater for the potential exponential growth arising from PSD2 and the Internet of Things.