Once you have decided to start using Bacs Direct Credit there are three easy steps:
Step 1 - Contact your payment service provider (PSP)
The first thing to do is to consult your PSP who will advise you on the facilities you may need in terms of accessing the service and provide you with the Scheme Rules and procedural information necessary.
Step 2 - Accessing the service
There are different methods for submitting your payment data to the Bacs service. The most suitable one for you will depend on your organisations needs and resources.
Direct access - this may be faster and cheaper than using a bureau where you will be processing a high volume of payments.
Indirect access - this is via a PSP or bureau and is often the most suitable method for smaller organisations or those with a limited number of payments.
Step 3 – How it works
To make a Bacs Direct Credit payment, the minimum information you require is the sort code and account number of the payee's PSP account. It is vital that you double check that the account number and sort code you are given are correct; payments are processed only using these numbers.
You should also consider the additional services available that can help save on administration time and reduce costs.
When making electronic payments it is important to include the correct and full payment reference information so the recipient can identify what the payment represents or who has issued it to them, and in the case of supplier payments, to enable the organisation receiving the payment to connect it to the correct customers account.
To make Bacs Direct Credit payments you submit your payment data - including amount of each payment, PSP account numbers, sort codes and dates - via a bureau or direct access depending on which method you choose.
The data is sorted into payments to each of the PSP and then transmitted to each institution. This data is downloaded into their computer systems and applied to the relevant customers' accounts and debited to yours.
The entire process is simple and efficient - and it takes less than three days from start to finish.
Bacs processing cycle
Input - day 1
Input day is the latest day a business user/bureau may submit a payment file to Bacs for a processing cycle. Payment files must be transmitted to Bacs between 07.00 and 22.30.
Processing - day 2
Files are delivered to the recipient PSPs which then process each payment.
Entry - day 3
Payments are simultaneously credited to the recipients' accounts and debited from your account.
You remain in control of the process at all times. You can submit your payment instructions up to 30 days in advance of the payment date. You can also recall payments after the payment information has been submitted, provided your PSP is notified prior to a specific cut off time.