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Building on strong foundations

Paul Horlock, CEO of Pay.UK

You may have seen the recent news that automated payments hit an all-time high in 2018, with a host of records broken across the year. This included new annual, monthly, and daily highs – with the latter surpassed twice.

This all came during a momentous 12 months, which also saw Bacs celebrate its 50th anniversary, as well as becoming part of Pay.UK, the leading retail payments authority. As years go, it is one which will live long in the memory for all those associated with Bacs, and indeed Pay.UK.

Not least when you consider that over 6.4 billion transactions, worth just shy of £5 trillion, were processed by Bacs during 2018. This included 4.4 billion Direct Debits – that’s more than eight Direct Debits for every UK adult – while Bacs Direct Credit saw values of almost £3.63 trillion; the highest ever recorded, and compares with £2.96 trillion a decade earlier.

But, as the payments industry continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, why does all of this matter? Well, quite simply, it underlines the importance of these established and ubiquitous payment services, which continue to play a major part in keeping UK PLC moving. No small feat I’m sure you’ll agree.

Along with Faster Payments and Cheque and Credit Clearing, which also became part of Pay.UK last year, we are fortunate to have been able to bring together these successful and proven services – which facilitate payments in excess of £7 trillion combined every year – and the knowledgeable teams which make it all happen.

And it’s only thanks to these strong foundations which are already in place that will allow us to set our sights ambitiously high and, ultimately, enable us to build towards an exciting future by facilitating a vibrant UK economy.

This work is already well underway, notably through our New Payments Architecture programme, and Request to Pay and Confirmation of Payee developments, and we continue to work with stakeholders and partners across the sector to deliver on these vital projects.

So, as we look to the months and years ahead it is important to remember that strong structures are built on solid foundations; in other words, our established payment services are very much part of our bright future.