gb Northern CAF Class 195 (Northern)

UK: In what the operator says is a first for the rail industry, Northern is to use the NatWest’s Payit payment system to issue refunds almost instantly to customers’ bank accounts.

NatWest launched Payit in 2020 to enable instant refunds and customer service payments, as well as for compensation payments and emergency cash requirements. It uses the Faster Payments framework which allows payments of up to £250 000 to be made within seconds, rather than days for a cheque clearance which also has a relatively high cost to the issuer.

It is available to customers of a range of major banks, and they do not need to bank with NatWest to receive money via Payit.

‘The need for businesses to send their customers money often occurs at the most crucial moments, and yet the typical methods can be slow, inefficient and expensive’, said James Hodgson, NatWest’s head of Payit. ‘We’re aiming to transform that experience with Payit, which now allows businesses to send payments that are credited to customer accounts in a matter of seconds, and all without the need for their bank details.’

Northern has also started accepting Apple Pay on parts of its network.