Mission Statement: To ensure local and central Government bodies use PayTech to help solve our social, economic and political problems.
Project Inclusion will address five policy areas:
1. Digital and financial inclusion
Financial inclusion is essential for anyone wanting to participate fairly and fully in everyday life. Without access to appropriate mainstream financial services, people pay more for goods and services and have less choice. The impact of exclusion is not just financial. It also affects education, employment, health, housing, and overall well-being. Increased digital delivery of financial services threatens to exacerbate the exclusion problem.
The project team will set out to support three of the Government’s current activities:
• The Competition and Markets Authority’s promotion of transparent pricing as part of its investigation into retail banking
• The Payment Systems Regulator’s push to ensure Direct Debits and Faster Payments are accessible to small organisations and new entrants
• The Department for Work and Pensions’ work to promote inclusive alternatives to the Post Office Card Account to support the introduction of Universal Credit
Net migration to the UK is at an all-time high. Delivering financial services to a growing immigrant population that includes political refugees who often do not have the official paperwork or proof of identity required by financial institutions is a significant challenge for local and central Government.
3. Cash economy and tax avoidance
The UK Government wants to strengthen existing rules against tax avoidance schemes employed by individuals as well as business by introducing a General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR). This aims to act as blanket legislation to allow the taxman to differentiate between what counts as responsible tax planning and what is abusive tax avoidance. An advisory group on the issue has now been set up, with the government intending to bring in the GAAR into action.
4. Better banking accessibility
Agility and innovation in the Financial Sector for consumers and small businesses is increasingly gaining headlines in the national press. Government initiatives such as the New Access Model for the Faster Payments scheme is engineered to drive down the cost of real-time domestic payments and drive competition within the sector.
Official statistics put the number of “accepted homeless” cases at about 52,000. Unofficial statistics place the number of cases well above 100,000. Effective management and distribution of benefits and tools for individuals to manage their finances is of interest to local and central government.
The Project will achieve this by:
• Understanding the concerns of local and central Government representatives
• Providing information and thought leadership through articles, White Papers and blogs in media read by government and parliamentary officials
• Meeting stakeholders in those areas where PayTech impacts Government
• Lobbying the lobbyists to raise the EPA’s profile and promote emerging payments