Records were broken in 2014 for Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) with the company behind Direct Debit in the UK reaching new highs in levels of transactions, demonstrating automated payments remain in favour with businesses and consumers alike.
The total number of transactions processed by Bacs across the year reached record levels, up to just short of 6 billion – that’s an increase of 2.4 per cent over 2013, and the highest growth rate the company has experienced since pre-recessionary 2007.
In one day alone, almost 100 million transactions were processed by Bacs, breaking the previous year’s record; on another, the value of payments moving through the two Bacs schemes (Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit) shattered previous highs, reaching £52.3 billion.
On top of that, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – for the first time – gave road users a chance to pay for their Vehicle Excise Duty by Direct Debit, with almost two million people signing up for automated payments in the first three months.
Rohan Gye DVLA’s Vehicles Service Manager said: “We are delighted that motorists can spread the cost of their vehicle tax through the new Direct Debit scheme.”
“Direct Debit is a known and trusted process used by millions of consumers each year. It has proved to be very popular with our customers as almost two million have already signed up to the scheme.”
As well as the record breaking transaction levels, in 2014 the proportion of people who felt positively towards Direct Debit stood at 85 per cent, with more than two thirds (68 per cent) saying they prefer to pay most of their bills by Direct Debit.
The average family had eight Direct Debits last year, and 79 per cent of people had at least one Direct Debit commitment, with 71 per cent of all household bills paid this way.
Michael Chambers is Bacs managing director. He said: “Automated payments were introduced more than four decades ago, but they remain as relevant as ever to UK businesses and bill payers.
“Even with new payment options arriving in the marketplace, the security and peace of mind offered to both billers and their customers means Direct Debit continues to grow, and Bacs Direct Credit is still the payment method of choice for employers, pension providers and for a billion benefit payments every year.”