The UK banking industry will not see the benefits of the Faster Payments system this year as tests proved more complex and time-consuming than first thought, according to Apacs.
The system was announced in May 2005 and planned to go live in November, but this deadline will be missed and banks will not see the benefits of the centralised technology system until next year.
The system, which is being developed by VocaLink, is a central infrastructure planned to deliver real-time payments to the UK. It was designed to allow customers to use the internet or phone to make a payment that will reach the recipient's bank account within a few hours.
Paul Smee, Apacs Chief Executive, said the UK banking industry is disappointed that the system will not be ready, but he also said that there is no room for error when launching a system which forms part of the UK's economic infrastructure.
"Clearly, it is more important to make sure it is done with our total confidence than rushed to meet a self-imposed delivery date. This is a huge project the investment by UK banks in the central system and in adapting their own systems has been high and is continuing the new service to be delivered in 2008 is ambitious, innovative and exciting for users."