The new regulator will be introduced by April 2015 and is a response to the Banking Reform Act 2013, which legislated for a new, independent regulator for an industry that processes more than £7bn of transactions a year.
The regulator, which will be a subsidiary of the FCA, is designed to promote competition and innovation and to ensure that payment systems operate in the interest of users.
Mr Wheatley said: “This sector is critical to the economy. We need to know if it as open as it should be to new entrants and whether consumers are getting the best possible deals.”
David Graham, director of Belfast-based Finance Matters, said: “We have had problems in the past regarding payment system failures from the likes of Ulster Bank. If a regulator improves things, that’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily improve an organisation’s systems.”