Apacs has today (Friday, 30th May 2008) announced the volume and value figures for the first three days' operation of the new Faster Payments Service*, launched on Tuesday 27th May.
In total, between just after midnight on Tuesday 27th May and today at 12.45pm, 318,405 faster payments have been processed to a value of £200,127,682.03. This equates to around 90,000 payments a day, 3,750 payments an hour - one every second - with an average value of over £625 per payment.
David McFarlane, CHAPS Company Manager** said: "Although we have deliberately staggered the volumes that could be pushed through the new Faster Payments Service, we are really delighted that so many customers have made use of this new payments system in its first few days of rollout. We hope that this has set us on course for more of the same and that by the end of the year we'll see the vast majority of internet, phone and standing orders moving faster. Of course, until the Service has been fully rolled out, any payments not using this new system will continue to be made over the existing three-day system. In the meantime if the timing and speed of any payment is important, it's always best to double check what system your bank will use as well as following the instructions on the back of bills from any bill provider."
* The Faster Payments Service enables banks to process one-off payments made over the internet or by phone within a couple of hours, not days, benefiting customers by speeding up the clearing of their payments. Customers are able to make internet and phone payments outside of banking hours even at the weekend. The service will also speed up standing order payments, enabling them to be cleared on the day they are sent on bank working days. Standing orders will start to be processed through the Faster Payments Service from 6th June. Customers do not need to make any change to any payments. Any payment that is not processed through the new service will continue to be made using the existing Bacs three-day service.
The thirteen founding members are: Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Citi, Clydesdale and YorkshiYYorkshire Banks (National Australia Group), Co-operative Bank, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide Building Society, Northern Bank (Danske Bank), Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank). VocaLink, a separate service company, is providing the infrastructure for the Faster Payments Service.
** CHAPS Clearing Company manages two same-day payment schemes operating in the UK:
CHAPS Sterling processing high-value payments settled in real-time
Faster Payments processing internet and phone payments and standing orders
Currently internet and phone payments account for just 2% of interbank automated payment volumes, but these are growing rapidly as customers increasingly turn to them instead of more traditional payment methods such as cheques. Standing orders account for 6% of interbank automated payments. The new system is being built to cater for the large volume increases projected for the future. The remaining 92% of interbank automated payments are 'bulk' transactions generated by organisations and businesses both large and small and are: Direct Debits, used to pay utility bills, life and general insurance premiums and various subscriptions; Bacs Direct Credits, used for salary payments, pensions, and state benefits; and CHAPS payments.
There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent through the Faster Payments Service, with the maximum value for internet and phone payments set at £10,000 and standing orders to £100,000. During this launch period some banks are adopting lower limits than those figures.