Almost six and a quarter billion payments worth a total of £4.8 trillion were processed by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) in yet another record breaking year for the company behind Direct Debit in the UK.
At the end of September 2016, a huge 109.3 million Direct Debits and Bacs Direct Credits passed through the system in a single day - that’s the equivalent of more than 7 million payments each hour the processing window was open (15.5 hours), or in excess of 117,000 per minute. That figure surpasses the previous daily high of 103.7 million transactions recorded only months earlier in 2016 (28 April).
Direct Debit grew by 4.9 per cent across the year, breaking the 4 billion barrier for the first time, with a total value of £1.3 trillion, while Bacs Direct Credit saw values increase by almost 5 per cent, to £3.5 trillion.
Michael Chambers, chief executive officer of Bacs, said: “Just three years away from Direct Debit’s 50th anniversary, and we’re still seeing tremendous growth in use. This demonstrates the hugely important role Direct Debit still plays for consumers and businesses when it comes to paying those regular bills, and how it remains a payment option of choice for billers from all sectors.
“At a time when the UK payments industry is facing tremendous changes, this is a clear message that established payment methods are still firmly in favour with people and with businesses.”
As well as its core payment methods, Bacs also owns and manages the Current Account Switch Service, which was developed to remove barriers to switching for consumers, small businesses and small charities. With 44 participants covering almost 100% of the UK current account market, the service has been used over 3.5 million times since it launched at the end of 2013.
Bacs is also responsible for the Cash ISA Transfer Service, Biller Update Service, and the Extended Industry Sort Code Directory, as well as the new Bulk Redirection Service which is used by banks, government departments, and large corporates for moving substantial numbers of accounts and regular payments between banking providers.