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Inclusive By Design - The New VocaLink Report

15 June 2016

Inclusive By Design - The New VocaLink Report

David Daniel,
Head of Brand & Communications,

New payments systems needed to support small businesses and those on variable and multiple incomes

The “Inclusive by Design” report has been released by VocaLink, in conjunction with Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Toynbee Hall. The report reviews current payments systems and champions the adoption of a new, more flexible payment system, Request to Pay.


VocaLink conducted research of 2,000 UK consumers which shows that over a quarter of Brits have faced difficulties when making regular payments.  53% of those who faced difficulties were unable to make payments due to insufficient funds or irregular pay and 30% of people forgot when the bill was due.

Many of those who don’t pay on time face a financial penalty.  47% of people surveyed have faced penalties of up to £50 in the past 12 months, with 24% paying late fees or an unauthorised overdraft fee, while 11% have been charged additional interest for a late payment.

This difficulty in making payments can be attributed in part to two demographic changes. First, the move towards variable and multiple incomes, with more hourly contracts or numerous employments; and second to the increase in small businesses, which has risen to a 40 year high.

Both of these groups can face difficulty with the existing payments systems, and a more flexible system would help alleviate some of these problems.

In ‘Inclusive by Design’ VocaLink sets out one possible solution, ‘Request to Pay’. ‘Request to Pay’ is a payments system designed to warn customers and allow them to prepare for a payment to be taken at a date of their choosing during an agreed period of time with the biller.  This gives people greater control of their finances and means they can pay bills when their cash flow allows.

The report explains that multiple stakeholders will need to agree to the adoption including billers, banks, end-users, charities and payment infrastructure providers. The report also studies existing and future payment options, with special focus on the Faster Payments Service and potential of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which is set to be implemented in January 2018. 

Download the full report today. 

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