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The Credit Thing goes live with TrueLayer’s Open Banking recurring payments, bringing VRP to consumers for the first time

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TrueLayer, Europe’s leading open banking platform, announced that The Credit Thing has successfully implemented its recurring payments API and made the first consumer Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) transactions in the UK.

The Competition and Markets Authority has mandated the UK’s nine largest banks to provide VRPs that support the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person, referred to as ‘sweeping’. TrueLayer is the first open banking provider to offer a single API that enables businesses to connect to select UK banks, including HSBC, to take recurring payments as a replacement for direct debit and card-on-file payments.

The Credit Thing is focussed on helping the more than 15 million people in the UK who are left behind by incumbent services due to thin credit histories. Using open banking to securely link bank accounts during the application process, consumers whose credit histories look thin or non-existent can prove their creditworthiness. In addition, by applying in-app rather than online, virtual cards are issued as soon as they are approved, which can then be added to Apple Pay or Google Pay or used to pay for purchases online.

An existing TrueLayer customer for standalone consumer payments powered by open banking, it is now using the firm’s recurring payment API to deliver an improved experience for consumer repayments. Rather than clunky direct debits that can take days to process, with TrueLayer consumers can mandate recurring payments in seconds and The Credit Thing receives instant notification.

Consumers also have far more control, with a single payment approval that removes the need to re-authenticate or re-authorise transactions, through a payment consent that is tied to a bank account and doesn’t expire until it’s revoked by them. Unlike both direct debit and card-on-file, recurring payments with TrueLayer provide The Credit Thing with instant access to the funds deposited. It’s also a more cost effective alternative, removing the fees incurred by card payments and their potential for chargebacks, and the operational overheads of managing direct debits.

Colin Hollingsbee, CIO for The Credit Thing, commented: “Could this be the beginning of the end for Direct Debits? VRP is a real game changer. We pride ourselves on providing great experiences and being at the cutting edge. That’s why we’re excited to be the first in the industry to do this with TrueLayer, reinforcing our philosophy to deliver on innovation.

“This isn’t innovation for the sake of it. It delivers meaningful benefits – consumers are firmly in control, the service is secure and user friendly, the cost of service is ultra competitive, and regular payment approval rates are likely to be phenomenal.”

Kirill Zotin, CTO for The Credit Thing, added: “VRP integration may sound complex, but with the TrueLayer partnership it was seamless. It took just a few weeks from our first conversation to live payments. This is what the future of banking looks like, when agility and innovation pushes the boundaries of available services. I’m really glad that consumers using The Credit Thing already experience the future of payments.”

Matt Parish, Product Lead for VRP at TrueLayer, commented: “This is a significant day for the UK payments industry – the first business using variable recurring payments to deliver a better consumer experience. TrueLayer’s first-of-its-kind API brings the transparency, speed and control of VRP to more people in the UK as a replacement for direct debit and card-on-file payments. We’re delighted to be working with an innovator like The Credit Thing who has seen the massive potential of VRP to support its business.”

TrueLayer is the market leader having launched the industry’s first recurring payments API for both sweeping and sweeping in early May. This was followed by NatWest Group signing an agreement with TrueLayer to provide VRPs as a new payment option for businesses and consumers.

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