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'Yule need to plan in advance’ – businesses warned to plan ahead for festive payments



​UK businesses are being urged to plan in advance to avoid missing or delaying crucial payments over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), the company behind Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit in the UK, is reminding businesses to make plans to ensure staff and suppliers don’t miss out because of the non-processing days over the festive period.

For example, if staff are to be paid before Christmas 2017, then the payment process has to begin on Wednesday 20th December 2017 to ensure that salaries are in employees bank accounts by Friday 22nd December.

Similarly, if business owners are intending to pay staff or suppliers before the New Year, then the payment process must begin on Wednesday 27th December 2017 at the latest.

To help businesses with their planning, Bacs publishes downloadable processing calendars, including all critical payment dates; the new one for 2018 has today joined the existing 2017 version at

Certain dates in the calendar like Bank Holidays are classed as non-processing dates, and if important payments are not to be missed, then businesses need to take these non-processing dates into account when they are working-out their payment schedules.

Payment files, which trigger the payment of Direct Debits or Bacs Direct Credits, can be submitted up to 30 days in advance and business owners should ensure that anyone involved in processing payments has a copy of the processing calendars (available here).

Mike Hutchinson from Bacs said: “A little forward planning will avoid any last minute hitches and ensure that payments reach the recipient on time. To help with this we have produced processing calendars setting out key payment dates, which are available from our website.

“Our message to businesses large and small is to start preparing now to avoid any unnecessary delays to important payment.”

The Bacs 2017 and 2018 processing calendars can be downloaded now from the Bacs website:

For further information contact our press office​.​​​

Notes to Editors:

About Bacs:

Bacs has been maintaining the integrity of payment related services since 1968, with responsibility for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of UK automated payment methods, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, as well as the provision of managed services for third parties, such as the Cash ISA Transfer Service, and the development, management and subsequent ownership of the Current Account Switch Service.

More than 120 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs since its inception; in 2016, nearly 6.25 billion UK payments were made this way, while a new record was set on 30 June 2017 with the number of transactions processed by Bacs in a single day reaching a high of 111.7million.

A not-for- profit entity which has maintained carbon neutral status since 2012, Bacs is a membership company limited by Guarantee.

For further information please visit

More about Direct Debit:

A Direct Debit is an instruction from a customer to their bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect varying amounts from their account, normally for regular payments for
everything from household bills to charitable donations. Almost nine out of 10 British adults have at least one Direct Debit commitment, with 73 per cent of household bills paid this way; 62 per cent of
people in GB prefer to pay most bills by Direct Debit, and the number of people who feel positively towards Direct Debit reached 77 per cent in 2016. Over 4 billion Direct Debits were processed in 2016, and Direct Debit payments are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee, a money back consumer safeguard.

For more information about Direct Debit, visit

More about Bacs Direct Credit:

Bacs Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables organisations of all sizes to

make payments direct into a bank or building society account - unlike cash or cheques, Bacs Direct
Credit payments cannot be lost, stolen or delayed in the post. 

There are more than 150,000 organisations in the UK using Bacs Direct Credit; while it has been widely adopted to pay benefits, wages and salaries – nearly 90 per cent of the country’s workforce is paid this way and one billion benefit payments are made via Bacs Direct Credit – it is also the payment method of choice for a range of other applications such as pension payments, employee expenses, insurance settlements, dividends and refunds.

Bacs also owns and manages the Current Account Switch Service, as well as operating the Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Biller Update Service. Find out more here.​