ARUCS, AWACS, Bacs, Direct Credit
Direct Credit
06, SEP 2017

Processing your financial transactions in a secure, cost effective and reliable way can have a huge impact on business efficiency. With 2.1 billion payments processed in 2016, businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of Bacs Direct Credit. While some companies process these payments in-house, many may not have the resources, expertise or support to do so – that’s where a Bacs approved bureau like Clear Direct Debit can help.

What is a Direct Credit?

The Bacs Direct Credit system allows organisations to electronically transfer a payment into a bank or building society account and is a popular way to pay both employees and suppliers. In fact, over 90% of people in the UK are paid using Direct Credits. They are also commonly used for payment of:

  • Pensions & annuities
  • Insurance
  • Expenses
  • Refunds
  • Dividends
  • State benefits

Simple, reliable and secure, Direct Credits make cash flow management more straightforward and can significantly reduce the time and cost involved in the administration of other payment methods such as cheques or cash. Accounts are processed through a Service User Number (SUN), for which you can apply to your bank, and the only other information you require are the payee’s bank details. So far, so simple! However, submitting the data into the Bacs system is a more involved process requiring specific software and expertise, which is why it’s important to consider the options open to your organisation.

Choosing the Best Option for Your Business

There are two ways in which data can be submitted to Bacs – direct or indirect access.

Direct access describes the process whereby the business submits their Direct Credit files directly to Bacs.

Indirect access is the term for outsourcing the management of Bacs payments to a bureau, a professional organisation who will process transactions on the business’s behalf.

Deciding which method of Bacs submission is suitable for your business depends on your specific requirements (your bank will be able to advise you on the best course of action). Whilst direct access may sometimes be more cost efficient for businesses processing a large number of payments, over half of UK organisations enjoy the many advantages of using Bacs approved bureaux.

The Benefits of Out-sourcing to a Bureau

For many organisations, dealing with payments in-house can have a number of disadvantages including:

  • The need to purchase and regularly upgrade expensive Bacs software
  • Having to train employees to process payments
  • The extra workload of dealing with administration and customer communication
  • Slow set-up
  • Compliance problems
  • Difficulty in keeping up with increases in the volume of transactions
  • A higher risk of errors being made or payments being missed
  • Having to create contingency plans in case of software failure, staff shortages or natural disasters

With a bureau, you don’t need to worry about any of these issues as we have the capability and expertise to process payments smoothly on your behalf. There are a number of significant benefits to be had from choosing to use a bureau for your Direct Credits transactions:

  • Cost saving – no need to train staff, do extra administration, buy pricey software or pay for regular upgrades
  • A tailored service that supports your company’s individual needs
  • Assured compliance with Bacs rules and regulations
  • Secure transactions with confirmation of receipt and processing
  • Lowered risk of missed payments
  • Adaptability in the event of changing payment volumes
  • Fast roll out and assistance with obtaining a Service User Number, if required
  • Effective contingency planning and solutions
  • Professional support and advice that draws on our wealth of experience and expertise
  • Timely collection and provision of your Bacs Direct Credit reports including: (AWACS) Advice of Wrong Account for Automated Credit Service and (ARUCS) Automated Return of Unapplied Credit Service..

Tailored Solutions from the Experts at Clear Direct Debit

At Clear Direct Debit, our flexible approach means that you can sign up to our bureau service on a full-time or contingency basis. For companies processing Direct Credits in-house, it’s a wise move to ensure you have a contingency plan in place by linking your Service User Number with a Bacs approved bureau. In the event of a problem with your own payment systems (a power shortage, for example) you can be assured that we will act as an extra safeguard – processing the payments on your behalf, thereby minimising any disruption to your business.

So, why not let us manage your Direct Credit payments, leaving you free to concentrate on other important areas of your business? Our experts have the capability to deal with all aspects of your Direct Credit transactions and can provide comprehensive support whatever your needs. Also, as a Bacs approved bureau, we are subject to regular reviews and inspections which ensure the quality of our service, giving you extra peace of mind that your financial transactions are in safe and reliable hands.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how Clear Direct Debit can help you with Direct Credit payments, either on a full-time or contingency basis, get in touch!