Under the contract, the technology company will renew RTGS payments infrastructure for the UK’s central bank


The Bank of England building at Lombard Street, London. (Credit: Wikipedia.org/David Iliff)

The Bank of England has awarded a £150m contract to IT giant Accenture to upgrade Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service, following a public procurement process that began last February.

In its role as the technology delivery partner, Accenture expects to deliver the RTGS Renewal Programme in 2022.

The IT giant will work with the bank to develop, build and integrate a new RTGS platform, improve access to data and provide services to support financial services sector and their customers in the years to come.

RTGS forms part of a critical national infrastructure and is also considered the backbone to payments in the UK, settling nearly £685bn each day.

The renewed RTGS system will improve resilience and user functionality

After extensive engagement with the industry, the bank envisaged the renewal of the RTGS service to increase resiliency and access, offer wider interoperability, and improve user functionality.

The renewed system is also aimed at strengthening end-to-end risk management of the UK high value payment system.

Bank of England banking, payments and innovation executive director Victoria Cleland said: “This is a key milestone in our ambitious and exciting Programme to renew RTGS. I look forward to working with Accenture, and with the industry, to develop and deliver a system that is fit for the future, supporting continued innovation in UK and global payments.

“The Renewal Programme is a key priority not just for the Bank but also the wider UK payments industry. It will support a resilient financial system that protects the UK’s financial and monetary stability in the years to come.

“The renewed RTGS service will be designed not only to benefit everyone in the country who makes payments, but to keep the UK at the leading edge of payments innovation.”

The renewed RTGS service is planned to be designed in line with the changing structure of the financial system to give access to a wider number of firms.

The RTGW Renewal Programme will be delivered in multiple transition stages to reduce risks and the programme is expected to run until 2025.

Accenture global payments practice managing director Sulabh Agarwal said: “The RTGS Renewal Programme will enable the Bank of England to enhance its critical infrastructure in one of the most important initiatives for the U.K. payments system.

“The rise of digital and instant payments in recent years has dramatically changed the way we pay, reflecting changes in the needs of households and companies. The renewed system will enable financial institutions to access a more modern and secure payments platform which is fit for the future.”