Last week we celebrated the news that 2017 had been a record year for Bacs, with over 6.34 billion payments processed at a total of nearly £5 trillion. In addition, we saw 155 million more payments made by Direct Debit last year compared to 2016; this equates to almost three more Direct Debit payments for every adult in the UK.
While this is great news, it can sometimes be easy to view such huge figures in abstract terms. It can be difficult to visualise, or put into context, billions of payments with a value of trillions of pounds
and can leave us asking what it really means.
For me, it tells a clear story that, at a time of unprecedented change across the sector, our payment products remain key to consumers and businesses alike throughout the UK. Put quite simply, the role that Bacs plays is central to the smooth day-to- day running of the economy in this country.
Think about this way, if you were to stop any UK resident on the street, you would almost certainly find that they have experience of one or other of our products or services, be that Direct Debit, Bacs
Direct Credit, the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), or the Cash ISA Transfer Service. Our services pay bills, salaries, and pensions, as well as moving current accounts and switching Cash ISAs.
All of this happens swiftly and smoothly – but largely out of sight. For many, as long as that important payment arrives on time, and those crucial bills aren’t missed, then that is as much as we will think about the infrastructure which underpins it all. And rightfully so. Quite honestly, the less that consumers and businesses need to think about the financial ‘plumbing’ the better!
So, as we take a minute to recognise the achievements of last year – 60 seconds in which we processed 120,000 payments on our busiest day at the end of June – we are more determined than ever to play a key role in the evolution of the sector. And, as we enter 2018, we continue to be focused on ensuring that our products remain the payment method of choice for all those who rely on them each and every day.