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NatWest launches open banking payments service

NatWest Payit
(Image credit: NatWest)

NatWest has launched Payit, a new service that allows its customers to make instant online payments to participating retailers without needing to use a debit or credit card.

Payit uses Open Banking infrastructure, which enables UK bank customers to pay for products and services, generally offered by medium-to-large companies.

Introduced in 2018, Open Banking has allowed financial service providers to share customer data, although this is the first time that a major UK bank has made use of the technology for facilitating payments.

NatWest Payit

Consumers don't have to bank with NatWest either, as customers of the UK’s nine largest banks are eligible to use the service. All they need to do is select the Payit button on a merchant’s payment page and select their chosen bank. Customers are automatically redirected to their own mobile or online bank in order to complete the transaction.

NatWest says that Payit is also set to have a feature that will allow merchants to process refunds, which will be added in the coming weeks.

The service has been running as a pilot since 2018, having been developed in a partnership with Pollinate, which specializes in developing cloud-based toolkits to join up the dots between SMEs and data feeds from banks. Payit has since won several awards for its innovative features.

Additionally, Payit has been named as a supplier to the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Payment Acceptance framework. CCS helps the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. It achieved commercial benefits worth £945m for 2018/19.

NatWest says that accountancy software provider FreeAgent will also be offering the Payit option via its online and mobile platforms. 

Paul Thwaite, CEO, Commercial Banking at NatWest said: “As the largest supporter of UK businesses, we are thrilled to launch Payit by NatWest, allowing mid to larger businesses with an online presence to accept payments directly from their customers’ bank accounts in near real time, providing them with an effortless and safe payment experience. 

"We are especially pleased to have used Open Banking technology to achieve this, allowing customers of the UK’s main banks to use this new payment option.”

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.