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What is the Faster Payments Service (FPS)?

Welcome to Learn, where we provide straightforward, easy-to-understand definitions of the payments industry.

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The Faster Payments Service (FPS) is a banking service in the United Kingdom. The FPS was instituted in order to reduce payment times between accounts held by different customers. Historically, these types of payments would take 3+ days, but the Faster Payments Service has reduced transaction times down to a few seconds, in most cases.

Created in 2008, the Faster Payment System is available 24/7/365 and is available to most customers in the UK with a bank account. In 2021, FPS processed £2.6 trillion (over $2.9 trillion) across 3.4 billion transactions.

How does the Faster Payments Service (FPS) work?

A number of different services—including banks, fintechs, and payment service providers—are able to connect securely and directly to the Faster Payment Service system infrastructure. These connections are what facilitate payments across the FPS.

In general, provided that both the sending and the receiving bank are direct participants of FPS, funds are available immediately upon transfer. In some cases, transfers can take as long as two hours—though this is more likely to occur outside of normal business hours or if one party is not a direct FPS participant.

Because payments sent use the Faster Payments Service happen in real-time, they cannot be canceled or recalled once they are sent. In the event of a mistake, financial institutions within the UK must follow the Credit Payment Recovery (CPR) procedures to help with the recovery of any payment sent in error.

To learn more about Faster Payments and Payment Operations, check out these additional resources:

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