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Link goes out to tender for infrastructure rebuild

Monday, January 29, 2018

by LINK Scheme Ltd

The UK's Link ATM network is inviting Expressions of Interest for a 5-10 year contract to provide ATM switching and settlement services, the first time the contract has gone to competitive tender.

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 competitive tender is in line with demands from the UK's Payment Systems regulator to inject an element of competition into the provision of national central infrastructure services. Link's move follows that of the UK Faster UK's Faster Payments scheme, which in December invited Expressions of Interest from tech vendors for the renewal and management of its back-end infrastructure. Both contracts are currently held by Vocalink.

The Expressions of Interest stage for the Link network formally opened on 24 January 2018, with suppliers invited to signal their intention to bid by Friday 2 March 2018. 

The procurement is for real-time, 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.

Bidders will need to have two separate Tier 3 certified Datacentres, located in either Western Europe or North America and processing experience gained in multiple countries.

John Howells, CEO of Link, says: “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.”

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