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The next step in Bacs’ evolution

three people having a meeting

We’re all familiar with the Bacs name: it’s been on our wage slips and our bank statements for years – 54 of them, to be precise. And, of course, with Bacs comes Direct Debit, the popular payment method that’s been settling regular bills for companies and their customers for the last five decades, quietly running in the background as it processes more than 4.5 billion payments a year.

And, while the way service users interact with Bacs Direct Credit and Direct Debit will remain the same and the service will be as good, if not better, than it always has been, as we move through 2022 some things will begin to look different.

For instance, the website accessed to download reports and make administrative updates will move to Pay.UK branding and colours; that will be the most obvious initial change, reflecting Pay.UK’s role in operating these very familiar services; Bacs, along with Faster Payments and cheques. You can find out more about that here*

This represents a natural next step and a continuation in the evolution of Bacs – it hasn’t always looked like it does today, or even provided the same service.

In the early years of automated payments, there were just a few thousand transactions being processed. Since then, paying this way has become an integral part of both billing and customer lives to the point where almost everyone in the UK is touched by Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit or, in many cases, both.

In fact, when you put Direct Debit’s broad footprint together with the proportion of the UK workforce being regularly paid by Bacs Direct Credit – a conservative estimate is 90% - and add them to the other payment services in the Pay.UK portfolio, our organisation really does keep the money moving, to a total tune of 10.1 billion payments.

And, as Pay.UK, our established services are right at the centre of innovative thinking as we drive development of the payment industry in this country. We’ve already seen the roll-out of Confirmation of Payee, designed to reduce certain types of fraud, while Request to Pay has been developed to smooth the relationship between billers and their customers.

Pay.UK is driving a new future for retail payments in the UK. While it remains our responsibility to continue the smooth operation of the UK’s critical retail payments systems – by those, we mean the Bacs Payment System, Faster Payment System, and Image Clearing System – we are also determined to play an active and leading role in the expansion of consumer payment options.

We are committed to supporting the UK’s needs – and that’s the needs of all of those who rely on our nationally important systems, from biller to bank, business to individual.

*You can also find out more about Microsoft’s decision to withdraw support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) from 15 June 2022, and the impact it could have on your Bacs access here