Direct Debit Limited launches Bacs contingency service

Source: Direct Debit Limited

Global payments specialist Direct Debit Limited today announced the launch of its Emergency Transmission Service (ETS).

The latest addition to Direct Debit Limited's portfolio of payments software and services is a Bacs contingency service. It provides businesses with a simple and effective way to submit Direct Debit and Direct Credit instructions to Bacs in an emergency when their normal Bacstel-IP systems are unavailable.

More than 115,000 organisations rely on electronic payments to collect and pay their bills. Bacs, the organisation that manages Direct Debit and Direct Credit in the UK, processes more than 5.6 billion electronic payments a year. This includes more than three billion Direct Debits and 2.5 billion Direct Credits a year. Businesses submit files to Bacs electronically over a secure Internet channel, Bacstel-IP. However, many organisations aren't prepared for what might happen if they can't access their Bacstel-IP systems.

Environmental or technical disasters can prevent organisations from submitting their payments instructions to Bacs. However, even seemingly trivial scenarios, such as a lost or broken smartcard or an absent employee, can stop a business from processing payments. The consequences can be disastrous. Businesses can upset suppliers and employees if they miss payments. Moreover, if they miss their Direct Debit collections, they can experience problems with cash flow.

Direct Debit Limited has used its expertise and more than 20 years of experience in the payments industry to create ETS. The service uses Direct Debit Limited's Bacs-accredited bureau service, Pay DirectTM, to submit payment files to Bacs. Gerry Hill, Managing Director at Direct Debit Limited, says: "ETS offers businesses peace of mind because they can collect and make payments in an emergency. The service can play an integral role in the business continuity and disaster-recovery plans of organisations that use Bacs' services."

ETS ensures that a business's payments don't stop, even if its systems do. Critically, this means organisations maintain their relationships and reputations with employees, suppliers and customers. In addition, the service ensures that Direct Debit service users comply with the Direct Debit scheme rules, which specify that they must have contingency arranged to ensure their collections aren't affected if their systems fail.

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