The Bacs Payment System processes Bacs Direct Credits, widely used to pay salaries, benefits, dividends and supplier payments directly into bank accounts, and Direct Debits, which automate the collection of regular payments, the preferred payment method for many UK bill payments.
Nearly 150 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs since its inception in 1968 and, in 2020 alone, the payment system facilitated 6.5 billion payments, at a value of £4.9 trillion.
This included over 4.5 billion Direct Debits, a new annual high and represented the 50th straight year of growth for the payment method which celebrated its half century in 2020.
In fact, use of Direct Debit has increased by 41 per cent in just the last 10 years, while that figure jumps to 125 per cent when compared to the year 2000.
With over 78.5 billion transactions made this way over the last five decades, today the popular payment method is used for a wide range of outgoings, spanning mobile phone bills, broadband bundles, dual fuel, water, council bills, subscriptions, half a dozen different types of insurance, and even holidays.
On its busiest day, at the end of November 2019, the number of transactions processed by the Bacs system reached a new high of 124,000,000, while a new monthly record was set in December 2020 when over 616 million payments were processed, valuing £450 billion.