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​We have pulled together some commonly asked questions to help the media understand more about Bacs and its services. We have also included some questions asked by customers to give you an insight into some of their possible concerns.

  • ​What is Bacs?

    ​Bacs is a membership company limited by Guarantee. For over 50 years, Bacs has been at the heart of the payments industry. It is responsible for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of automated payments in the UK maintaining the integrity of payment related services.

  • ​Who are the members of Bacs?

    The Bacs members are made up of a number of banks and building societies. For more details visit

  • ​What are Bacs' responsibilities?

    ​Bacs is responsible for:

    • Administering the Scheme's payment rules and standards, and providing advice on best practice
    • Enhancing the quality of clearing, settlement and payment services
    • Ensuring compliance with the Bank of England regulatory requirements
    • Developing new payment services to meet the needs of corporate customers and consumers.​
  • How did Bacs come about? What is the history of Bacs?​

    ​In 1968, the electronic transfer of funds between banks was introduced by the Inter Bank Computer Bureau. In 1971 this organisation was renamed Bacs (Bankers Automated Clearing Services); later shortened to Bacs Limited in 1985.​


    Throughout the eighties and nineties, Bacs invested heavily in new technologies that took full advantage of advances in processing power and software engineering. In 2002, this culminated in a step change in the delivery of Bacs services with the initial introduction of Bacstel-IP - a system which allows users to submit and monitor payments via the internet.


    This development was quickly followed by a governance review and an analysis of the payment market which split Bacs into two separate organisations - Bacs Ltd and Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs). On 12 October 2004, Bacs Ltd became Voca Limited and Bacs Payment Schemes Limited reclaimed the Bacs name. Today, both organisations work closely together. Subsequently, on 2 July 2007, Voca merged with LINK - the operator of the UK cash machine (ATM) network. The resulting company was VocaLink. On 2 May 2017 VocaLink was acquired by Mastercard. Vocalink provides domestic and international transaction services to banks and corporates.

    Vocalink owns the infrastructure on which payment schemes operate and Bacs maintains the integrity of the current Schemes.​

  • Who are Bacs' key stakeholders?​

    • ​Bacs member banks and building societies
    • Regulators, such as the PSR, FCA, and the Bank of England
    • Vocalink
    • Users of the Vocalink service
    • Consumers and businesses using the Bacs services​.
  • What are Bacs' core products?​

    ​Bacs has two main products. These are Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit.​

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