Published on 26 January 2018
The first stage is seeking Expressions of Interest from potential bidders to renew and manage the LINK switching and settlement infrastructure

Link Scheme Holdings Ltd (LSHL), the company behind the UK’s ATM network, is today (26th January 2018) inviting Expressions of Interest for the provision of UK ATM Switching and Settlement Services in connection with the LINK Scheme for a period between 5 to 10 years.

The procurement is for real-time, highly resilient 24x7 ATM switching and settlement services, including real-time transaction enquiry and liability management, overnight reconciliation, and settlement via SWIFT to the Bank of England Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

The Expressions of Interest stage formally opened on 24 January 2018, with suitably qualified and experienced suppliers invited to express an interest by Friday 2nd March 2018. During the competitive procurement process bidders will be required to demonstrate a commitment to innovation and a highly resilient, real time 24x7 transaction processing that can meet the current and future needs of all LINK Network Members.

Details on the stages of the competition and more information can be found at:

John Howells, CEO of LINK, said:

“The LINK Scheme’s objective is to provide universal access to cash for consumers – and this is directly underpinned by the switching and settlement of transactions over the LINK Network. This process represents a major opportunity for interested parties to drive innovation and ensure that the LINK ATM Network continues to meet the needs of all participating card issuers and ATM deployers.

Currently around 70,000 ATMs in the UK are connected to the LINK Network with 3.1 billion customer transactions being made in 2017. The majority of the UK’s debit card issuers, ATM card issuers, and cash machine operators (including banks, building societies and independent ATM deployers) are Member participants and connect to the LINK Network.

Those qualifying following the Expression of Interest stage will be invited to participate in a Request for Proposal stage, and subsequently invited to submit a full proposal and make a presentation to a LSHL panel. This will be followed by shortlisting for a negotiation stage before a final decision is made in Q1 2019. The competitive tender meets the requirements of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Remedies Decision1, following its market review into the ownership and competitiveness of central payment systems infrastructure provision.

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