June 11, 2013

The U.K. Payments Council today announced it will be offering a new service designed to make it simpler for consumers to switch bank accounts.

Features of the service include that the new account provider arrange for payments accidentally made to the old account be automatically redirected to the new account for 13 months, and protection from the result of a failure in switching by refunding any interest and charges made on either of the customer’s old or new account.

Also, according to the Payments Council, the service is free and customers can choose the switch date to a new account provider, and the new account provider will take care of all payments moving in and out of the account.

Further, the Payments Council said the service will reduce the switching process to seven working days – which it says is a a substantial improvement on the current process, that can take between 18 and 30 days

“Although the service will make life simple for customers, delivering it has involved massive systems changes both centrally and within individual financial institutions,” says Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, in a written statement.

Starting in September, financial institutions offering this service will display a "Trustmark," which indicates they offer the service. According to the Payments Council, almost 100% of the competitive current account market will offer the new service.

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Zarna Patel is a staff writer for InformationWeek's Financial Services brands, which include Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology. She received ...