Payments Council appoints Experian to create and manage new reference database

Payments Council appoints Experian to create and manage new reference database
New central biller database will improve accuracy of transactions

Rugby, 31 October 2011:  The Payments Council has appointed Experian®, the global information services company, to create and maintain an industry database of corporate customers’ payment information.  The central biller database, which will improve the accuracy of payments made using online and telephone banking, is scheduled to go live in late 2012.

Experian will collect, verify and standardise information from banks on how their corporate customers (billers) receive payments. The full database is to be used by banks to make it easier for online and telephone banking customers to find accurate information when paying their bills – for example via simplified drop-down menus. The service will also benefit billers, who will find it easier to reconcile incoming electronic payments by providing more accurate billing information for customers to use.

The central biller database is an initiative from the Payments Council’s recently published National Payments Plan (2011-2014), forming part of the Payment Council’s programme of activity to enhance existing payment services through innovation.

Jonathan Williams, Director of Strategy at Experian Identity and Fraud comments: “Experian estimates up to a quarter of customer references are invalid or incorrectly formatted, increasing the time it takes to credit payments and sometimes preventing them from being credited altogether, particularly when bill issuers change their account details, switch banks, or are involved in a merger or takeover.

“This database will help ensure banks hold correct and up-to-date information for billers and it will give both corporate and consumer customers confidence their payment will reach the right recipient and will be processed quickly.”

Hilary Plattern, Head of Strategy for the Payments Council, said: “This innovative solution is a win-win: consumer customers making payments benefit from increased confidence in the accuracy of the information they use to pay bills online or over the phone, while companies can be confident their customers are using up-to-date bank account and sort code details, as well as correctly-formatted references.

“This new database is an excellent example of the Payment Council’s commitment to put customers’ needs at the centre of the way payment methods are designed. We look forward to working with Experian to develop and deliver this service.”


Chantal Heckford / Sarah Tye / Kate Douglas
Lansons Communications
020 7490 8828 /

Neil Aitken
Payments Council
020 3217 8441

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit .

About the Payments Council
The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK.  This unique role ensures that we listen to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs.  We are, by nature, a collaborative body so we work with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of our external stakeholders. The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK. 

The Payments Council was set up in March 2007 and currently there are 30 members; the Board has 11 industry representatives, four independent Directors and an independent Chairman. The principal UK payment schemes – Bacs, CHAPS and Cheque & Credit Clearing Companies, LINK ATM Scheme as well as the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company Limited – have all entered into a contract with the Payments Council to set out their respective rights and duties. Under the contract, schemes are required to report regularly and the Payments Council Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy.  Payments Council also has 23 associate members.
For more information visit