Vocalink wins Link ATM deal

Vocalink has retained its role as technology provider to the UK’s Link ATM network, beating off competition from four alternative suppliers for a 10-year contract for the provision of ATM switching and settlement services.

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 move to put the contract up for competing bids followed demands from the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator to inject an element of competition into the provision of national central infrastructure services. It marked the first time the contract had been put out to competitive tender.

The tender attracted bids from more than five organisations including Visa, FIS, and the incumbent technology provider Vocalink.

The procurement is for real-time, 24/7 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 tender process was overseen by law firm RPC.

Charles Buckworth, commercial partner at RPC comments: “The procurement process was far more complex than a standard outsourcing contract negotiation due to the number of parties and stakeholders involved, including two UK regulators (the Bank of England and the PSR) and 35 members of the Link Scheme.”

John Howells, the Link Scheme CEO, addss: “The completion of this competitive procurement represents a major milestone for the Link Scheme and secures the provision of Link’s critical infrastructure until 2031.”