The Bank of England has agreed an £81.4 million deal with consultancy Accenture to be its technology delivery partner for the RTGS Renewal Programme.
The contract award notice says the company will build, test, deploy and maintain the Real-Time Gross Settlement service for the Bank, which holds accounts for banks, building societies and other institutions.
It will also involve developing new features and capabilities for payments and settlements between financial institutions. The Bank has indicated that the renewal is necessary because the way payments are made has changed dramatically in recent years, reflecting changes in the needs of households and companies, in technology, and an evolving regulatory landscape.
It has placed an emphasis on increasing resilience, providing greater access, wider interoperability, improved user functionality and stronger risk management.
The programme schedule envisages that the core RTGS replacement will complete by early 2023, and services will be renewed up to late 2024.
Architecture and blockchain
Speaking in September of last year, Victoria Cleland, executive director for banking, payments and innovation at the Bank, emphasised that the new service should have a flexible and modular architecture and provide a platform for private sector innovation. Also, while not being build on distributed ledger technology – better known as blockchain – it should enable connections by firms who do use it.
Along with this will be the provision of APIs to enable read and write of payments data.
The renewal is also aimed at encouraging more organisations to join the service.
The contract will initially run for three years but with the option for two further extensions of three years each.