Future Payment Systems: Data, Technology & Privacy after Covid

Payments are critically important for everyone, as interaction with the economy is an essential part of life. Covid-19 might be viewed as a catalyst, fundamentally changing the way in which people interact and, by extension, the way in which they transact as consumers. Cash payments have always been part of our lives, and the availability of cash has served as a critical check on those who might force us to use third-parties. Recently, however, the share of cash transactions has declined, and the decline in cash has potentially significant implications for privacy and trust.

Future Payment Systems, funded by the EPSRC via the SPRITE+ NetworkPlus, aims to outline the evolving landscape of technology and regulation surrounding payment systems. Objectives of the project include:

  • To understand the current evolution towards (digital) payment systems and its impact on privacy and the public interest in the context of the Covid-19 health and economic crisis, especially through the lens of TIPS.
  • To identify pathways for sustaining the research enquiry in the medium to long term.
  • To deliver a landscape report communicating pressing issues surrounding the movement towards digital payment systems.
  • To create a policy brief on the evolving regulatory landscape as well as respond to current requests for consultations from entities such as EDPB, FCA, and the HM Treasury.
  • To investigate the proposed designs, features and possible requirements for the frameworks supporting future payments systems.
  • To propose system dynamics and design simulation experiments to test 3c within on a number of transaction scenarios.

The project is a collaboration between Universities of Nottingham, UCL, Stirling, Coventry, Turing Institute, Kent, Exeter and industrial partner Trilateral Research, with Dr Jiahong Chen, Research Fellow of Horizon, leading the Regulation work package.