Also in the Direct Debit Resource Centre:
Bacs is the not-for-profit organisation that regulates and manages the Direct Debit scheme. Bacs’ objectives are to ensure that a quality service is provided and that rules and regulations are adhered to by both users and banks. Bacs’ key responsibilities are to: Maintain the integrity of the scheme, update the scheme rules and act as an ombudsman / governing body for the service.
Bacs has grown in strength since its creation in 1968 and has processed over 130 billion payments in the last five decades. In 2017, a record 6.34 billion UK payments were made this way with a total value of £4.9 trillion, including over 4.2 billion Direct Debits. A new record was also set on 31 August 2017, with 114 million transactions processed in a single day.
On 1 May 2018, Bacs Payment Schemes Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of the new home for UK retail payments, Pay.UK.
For further information please visit www.bacs.co.uk.
The Bacs Processing Calendar
The Bacs processing calendar is a valuable tool to help you ensure you don’t miss those important processing dates over holiday periods. It also supplies you with the all important Julian dates you need to process your payment files. Download the files below
Need Help with your Bacs Submission Planning?
See our online training courses or let our Bureau do it for you
BACS started as the Inter-Bank Computer Bureau
The Inter-Bank Computer Bureau changed its name to the “Bankers Automated Clearing Services Limited”. This is where we get the term ‘Bacs’
ACSTEL (a telephone service) was introduced. This meant that Bacs could process transactions over a phone line which resulted in a quicker, more efficient service. Previously data had to be sent using magnetic tapes which were biked to their destination – a slower and less secure service. With the introduction of Bacstel, the number of Direct Debits being processed increased.
The company shortened its name to “BACS Limited”
The company split into two separate arms:
- Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd. This arm took responsibility for promoting and governing the scheme as a Not for Profit Organisation
- BACS Ltd. This arm owned the infrastructure that processed the scheme
To avoid confusion, BACS Ltd changed its name to VOCA
All Service Users migrate to using Bacstel-IP software, a system which allows users to submit and monitor payments via the internet. This resulted in a further increase in the use of Direct Debits
VOCA merged with LINK, the organisation that runs the UK’s cash machine network and became known as VOCALINK. VOCALINK provide domestic and international transaction services to banks and corporate organisations.
On 1 May 2018, Bacs Payment Schemes Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of the new home for UK retail payments, Pay.UK. (Pay.UK has been set up to consolidate Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), Faster Payments Scheme Limited (FPSL), and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company Limited (C&CCC) which incorporates the Image Clearing System (ICS)).
The responsibility for the operations of Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit, the Current Account Switch Service, Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Industry Sort Code Directory were handed over to Pay.UK.
Pay.UK is the name of the company that owns and operates Bacs Direct Debit, Bacs Direct Credit, the Current Account Switch Service, Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Industry Sort Code Directory. The Bacs payment systems were recognised as systemically important infrastructure under the Banking Act 2009. This means that, as the owner and operator of Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, Pay.UK is regulated by the Financial Markets Infrastructure Directorate at the Bank of England.
Since its inception, more than 130 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs and, in 2017, 6.34 billion UK payments were made this way. . These retail payment systems, which process over £6.4 trillion worth of payments every year between them, are joined by UK Payments Administration Ltd (UKPA), which provides people, facilities and business services expertise to support the systems behind the payment system operations.
For further information please visit www.wearepay.uk/.
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