Services and operations

We provide robust, resilient, and collaborative retail payments services that are secure, open and foster innovation. Below is a list of the services and operations we deliver every day to enable the UK economy.

Bacs Accredited Facilities Management Provider is a service whereby an organisation will take responsibility for the collection or administration of Direct Debits on behalf of another organisation, not necessarily being a service user in its own right (facilities management client). A facilities management provider acts as a service user for those businesses that do not have their own service user number to collect or administer Direct Debits on their behalf. This enables businesses to access Direct Debit without requiring sponsorship into the Direct Debit Scheme by their bank.

Learn more about Bacs Accredited Facilities Management Provider.

The BAB Scheme undertakes regular inspections that assess the technical competence and operational integrity of BABs.

Bacs inspectors review the appropriateness of the bureaux to ensure they meet the standards set by the scheme​. All Bacs approved bureaux are listed on the Bacs Approved Bureaux Directory.

Over half of the organisations using the Bacs service make their Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit payment submissions through our approved bureaux rather than submitting directly to Bacs.

Learn more about the Bacs Approved Bureau Scheme.

Only software solutions that have passed a number of rigorous testing and approval processes are enabled to connect to Bacstel-IP for Bacs Payments and / or Secure-IP for Faster Payments. All Bacstel-IP and Secure-IP software are approved before they reach the marketplace, reassuring users that the software has surpassed set quality standards.

Learn more about the Bacs Approved Software Service.

Bacs Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable way to make and receive payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank or building society account.

Over 150,000 organisations use Bacs Direct Credit and, whilst it is mainly known for wages and salary payments, it can also be used for a wide range of other applications such as pensions, employee expenses, insurance settlements, dividends and refunds.

Learn more about Bacs Direct Credit.

BTAS is an accreditation service provided by Bacs to assess the relevance and quality of training course content and materials relating to Bacs services.

The staff of financial institutions, Direct Debit service users and other Bacs users, benefit from being able to identify those training courses providing high standards of content and delivery, to meet their respective needs.

Learn more about Bacs Training Accreditation Scheme.

BUS provides participating organisations with a centrally managed facility to update and disseminate biller information. It allows receiving organisations to update and maintain their own biller lists which they provide to customers via telephone and internet banking channels.

BUS ensures new requests submitted to the service are validated and then circulated to all receiving organisations, improving the accuracy and consistency of the biller information they provide.

BUS is designed to deliver a managed and consistent process for capturing, validating and disseminating biller information to banks and organisations that participate in the payment schemes.

Learn more about Biller Update Service.

BPRS offers an easy and cost-effective way to ensure payments continue to be received when a sort code and / or account number is changed. BPRS leverages the central redirection facility developed for the Current Account Switch Service.

There are a number of circumstances in which an organisation may find BPRS of value, including:

  1. Where a business which is too large to take advantage of CASS moves from one banking provider to another
  2. In the event of an organisation merging with, or being taken over by another organisation resulting in a change of account details
  3. Bank or building society branch closures where payments continue to be made to a customer’s old branch account details
  4. Where payment service providers move from one sponsoring bank to another, or set up in their own right.

Learn more about the Bulk Payment Redirection Service.

The Cash ISA Transfer Service automates the communication between an acquiring party and a ceding party for a Cash ISA transfer. It involves information exchanges (messages) between the acquiring party and the ceding party.

The service was developed in response to the changing regulatory landscape relating to the speed of the transfer of Cash ISAs, and has resulted in a standard process for providers to follow.

Learn more about Cash ISA Transfer Service.

All cheques for use in the clearing process in Great Britain must be produced by accredited printers. This means there is much greater quality control in the paper, ink and the security features used in cheque production. CPAS has helped reduce some types of cheque fraud, namely ‘fraudulent alteration’ and ‘counterfeit’.

Learn more about the Cheque Printer Accreditation Scheme.

Confirmation of Payee is a name checking service that helps avoid payments being accidently misdirected. The service is a new way to help give you (whether you are a personal or business customer) greater assurance that you are sending payments to the intended recipient, helping to avoid making accidently, misdirected payments to the wrong account holder, as well as providing another layer of protection in the fight against fraud and scams.

Learn more about Confirmation of Payee.

Bank Giro Credits (BGCs) are used by customers to pay cash or cheques into a bank account. They are commonly found in the form of tear-off strips at the bottom of utility, telephone and other regular bills. A Bank Giro Credit is basically a paper slip addressed to a bank branch instructing it to credit a specified sum of money to a named account at that branch. It bears the money mark logo next to the words ‘bank giro credit’.

A Bank Giro Credit is not a payment instrument, i.e. it cannot be used on its own to make a payment, and must be accompanied by cash and/or a cheque.

Learn more about Clearing Credit and Bank Giro Credits.

Current Account Switch Service makes switching your current account between banks and building societies simple, reliable and stress-free. The service is free-to-use and available to individuals, small businesses, charities and trusts.

The Full Switch Service, known as CASS, applies where the customer wants a hassle-free service that automatically transfers all payment arrangements to their new bank and closes their existing account.

The Payment Transfer Service provides selected features of the CASS, but does not involve the customer closing their existing account or automatically transferring all of their payment arrangements. The service is not limited in terms of time and is not covered by the Current Account Switch Service Guarantee. It also enables a switch between account product types other than current accounts (where possible and when both service providers agree).

Learn more about the Current Account Switch Service.

Simply, a Direct Debit is an instruction from you to your bank or building society. It authorises the organisation you want to pay to collect varying amounts from your account – but only if you’ve been given advanced notice of the amounts and dates of collection.

Once you have agreed those, the money is deducted automatically. If the organisation you are paying wants to change an amount or date of collection, they have to tell you about it first.

In a nutshell, Direct Debit is the simplest and most convenient way for you to pay regular and occasional bills.​​​

Learn more about Direct Debit.

EISCD is the new version of the Industry Sort Code Directory (ISCD) – a downloadable database containing information about all banks and building societies that are connected to the UK clearing systems. These include Bacs Payment System, Faster Payment System, Image Clearing System and CHAPS Sterling.

Learn more about the Extended Industry Sort Code Directory.

The Faster Payment System is a Financial Markets Infrastructure (FMI) providing UK bank, building society and non-bank payment service provider’s customers with real time, 24×7, account-to-account funds transfers. Over 400 financial institutions offer Faster Payments, making it available to the vast majority of current account holders in the UK.

Faster Payment System includes:

  • Direct Corporate Access – Which enables file submission of payments using the same software as Bacstel-IP to enable business customers to send payments quickly and securely, 24 hours a day
  • File Input Module – Which enables file-based payments to be submitted direct to central infrastructure by payment service providers
  • Forward dated payments – Which enables mobile, internet, telephone and file-delivered payments for a current or future date
  • Single immediate payments – Enables mobile, internet and telephone payments to move quickly and securely, almost at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day
  • Standing order payments – Available Mon-Fri (excluding Bank Holidays), these are regular payments processed by payment service providers  on behalf of their customers; with the payment service provider submitting payments on the due date (or next business day) between 00:01 and 06:00 – so that beneficiary is credited early in the day.

Learn more about the Faster Payment System.

Cheque imaging is the process that enables images of cheques to be exchanged between banks and building societies, through the Image Clearing System, for clearing and payment across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

ICS allows a customer to either pay-in normally at their branch or send in an image of the cheque (via a mobile banking app) to their bank (if their bank offers that service). The bank then either creates its own cheque image or uses the customer’s, and sends the image via ICS to the paying bank, for security, administrative and sufficient balance checks, after which the paying bank sends the money to the payee bank. Typically, the ICS has enabled cheque processing to reduce from 6 days to be absolutely certain that the cheque won’t bounce to 23.59 the next weekday after paying in a cheque.

Learn more about the Image Clearing System.

Paym helps you pay your friends and family back quickly and easily using a current banking app. It has been operational for over 4 years and lets you send money securely to anyone registered by their bank to receive via Paym using just their mobile number.

Learn more about Paym.

To access the customer-sensitive data needed to use the Faster Payment System and Bacs Payment System, participants need to have the use of a PKI Trust Service. This manages the digital certificates that are essential to keep customer information secure.

Pay.UK manages a PKI Trust Service, operated by UTSP, which provides services to UK banks and financial institutions that want to join the Faster Payment System and Bacs Payment System. The service aims to reduce barriers to entry for payment service providers by providing an affordable solution and to broaden instant payment capability across the UK payments landscape. PKI is a system for the management (creation, storage, distribution and revocation) of digital signatures.

Request to Pay is a new secure messaging Framework, set up to help consumers manage their bills easily and securely.

Request to Pay provides consumers with a new flexible way to settle bills between businesses and organisations – as well as among friends. This includes the ability to see all your bills in one place. For business and organisations issuing bills, it reduces reconciliation costs by allowing them to provide reference data with the request which will be automatically transmitted with the payment.

Learn more about Request to Pay.

SCVAS is a voluntary scheme which has arisen from industry initiatives to improve the distribution of Bank Reference Data – specifically the requirement to provide assurance that the sort code information within the UK payments industry is accurate and up to date.

The Scheme is aimed at those commercial providers that offer sort code validation products on a subscription basis and / or a ‘pay per use’ basis to assist organisations with the management of their electronic payment processing needs.

SCVAS enables providers to offer their customers sort code validation products that carry Pay.UK’s approval, providing the minimum “threshold criteria” have been met.

In return, providers of accredited products have industry approval of their products and are listed in the table of accredited products below. You will also find further information on availability, accessibility and additional functionality of these sort code validation products.

Learn more about the Sort Code Validation Accreditation Scheme.