What is a Facilities Management provider?
For the purposes of Direct Debit, facilities management (FM) is defined as a situation where a service user (known as the FM provider) is taking responsibility for the collection or administration of Direct Debits on behalf of another organisation (known as the FM client), not necessarily being a service user in its own right.
The Direct Debit rules require that all service users carrying out these activities be accredited, regardless of whether their business model:
- Provides each FM client with an individual service user number (SUN), or
- Collects all payments under a single SUN.
The accreditation requirement applies only to service users that are operating commercially*.
* A service user operating commercially would be offering services to third parties, for example other businesses, from sole traders to corporate entities, regardless of whether charges are imposed or not.
Identification of FM providers
- It is the responsibility of sponsoring payment services providers (PSPs) to identify service users / prospective service users that are providing / are intending to provide a commercial FM proposition
- There may be occasions where Pay.UK ** identifies organisations
- Service users may also proactively confirm to their sponsoring PSP that they are offering FM services.
Accreditation is separate from any contractual arrangements between the applicant organisation (the service user) and its sponsoring PSP. If an applicant organisation is not yet a service user, they will be required to complete the FM accreditation process before they begin collecting Direct Debits on behalf of third party organisations.
Steps in the accreditation process:
- Application form provided by sponsoring PSP
- Completed application form returned to sponsoring PSP
- Completed application form sent to Pay.UK by sponsoring PSP
- Pay.UK provides documentation to the applicant organisation for completion. This will include:
- Accreditation agreement together with supporting guidelines. This is a standard legal agreement creating a contract between Pay.UK and the applicant organisation
- Questionnaire seeking information about how the applicant organisation operates and its FM specific activities
- Enforcement of compliance document – setting out the steps that Pay.UK may follow in the event the applicant organisation should operate in a non-compliant way
- A tariff agreement – outlining the costs associated with accreditation
- Direct Debit Instruction for collection of the fee(s) contained in the tariff agreement.
Once all of the documentation has been satisfactorily completed, confirmation will be given that the organisation has been accredited. The organisation will be listed on bacs.co.uk and issued with an FM accredited logo.
Timeframe for completing accreditation
It is anticipated that the end-to-end accreditation process will take approximately one month although this could vary on a case by case basis should there be questions an applicant organisation has about the process.
On-going requirements of accreditation
Each accredited organisation will be required to complete an annual self-certification questionnaire and pay an annual fee (details in the tariff agreement which will be supplied by Pay.UK to applicant organisations when they apply for accreditation).
Pay.UK also reserves the right to undertake an inspection of the accredited organisation. Failure to satisfactorily complete the initial questionnaire, the annual self-certification questionnaire, or an unsatisfactory inspection, may result in the applicant organisation being prevented from collecting Direct Debits (see the enforcement of compliance document, which will be supplied by Pay.UK to applicant organisations when they apply for accreditation, for further details).
For further details about FM accreditation use the contact us form, selecting “Facilities management accreditation” from the nature of enquiry drop down menu.
** Pay.UK became the responsible operator of the Bacs Direct Debit payment system on 1 May 2018 when Bacs Payment Schemes Limited simultaneously became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pay.UK.