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Bacs direct participation


Bacs direct participation is open to banks, building societies, authorised electronic money institutions and authorised payment institutions.

When determining whether Bacs direct participation is right for you, you should consider the eligibility criteria and the decision tree below. Payment service poviders can be sponsored into the Bacs system by a Bacs participant if direct participation is not considered appropriate. View the current list of Bacs participants.

Direct participants of Bacs have a number of roles. They:

  • Settle at the Bank of England
  • Underwrite the Direct Debit Guarantee
  • Guarantee Bacs (Bacs Payment Schemes Limited is a company limited by guarantee)
  • Fund Bacs
  • Underwrite all risks incurred via Bacs
  • Direct Bacs and determine its plans
  • Use Bacs to support their customer propositions. 

To become a direct participant of Bacs a number of criteria need to be met. Each member must:

  • Have a settlement account at the Bank of England
  • Carry out business and operate an office in the EEA
  • Meet agreed technical and operational requirements, including having an agreement in place with VocaLink (or another provider of approved clearing services), and having an approved trust service
  • Be a bank, building society, authorised payment institution or electronic money institution
  • Sign a legal document in respect of participation, and of the settlement arrangements
  • Pay a share of Bacs costs.

Bacs participants operate in a clear and transparent governance structure, supported by key legal agreements, rules and procedures. Key documents are listed below, some are immediately available, and some are available under Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as participation application progresses.

Available now

The following documents can be found in the Information Hub to the right of your screen:

Bacs Membership Costs

Memorandum and Articles of Association

Payment System Rules

​Available under NDA

Bacs Participant on-boarding process

Bacs Settlement Agreement

Bacstel-IP rules

Payment System Membership Agreement

Bacs Scheme Rules

Bacs Functional Specification

Bacs Codes of Conduct – Systems, Sponsorship, Channels, and Trust Service

Bacs Security Policy

Bank Reference Data - Member's Guide

Deed of Charge / Deeds of Funding

Settlement Service Provider Agreement

Key Supplier contracts and Service Level Agreements

Managed Services (Current Account Switching and Cash ISA Transfer services) legal agreements

Budget and Financial reports

Prospective direct participants of Bacs are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Bacs before being provided access to these documents. This is required to protect the security and intellectual property of Bacs Payment Schemes Limited.

Enquire about participation of Bacs or the participation criteria. ​


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