Bacs is the not-for-profit organisation that regulates and manages the Direct Debit scheme. Bacs’ objectives are to ensure that a quality service is provided and that rules and regulations are adhered to by both users and banks. Bacs’ key responsibilities are to:
- Maintain the integrity of the scheme
- Update the scheme rules
- Act as an ombudsman / governing body for the service
|1968||BACS started as the Inter-Bank Computer Bureau|
|1971||The Inter-Bank Computer Bureau changed its name to the “Bankers Automated Clearing Services Limited”. This is where we get the term ‘Bacs’|
|1983||BACSTEL (a telephone service) was introduced. This meant that Bacs could process transactions over a phone line which resulted in a quicker, more efficient service. Previously data had to be sent using magnetic tapes which were biked to their destination – a slower and less secure service. With the introduction of Bacstel, the number of Direct Debits being processed increased.|
|1985||The company shortened its name to “BACS Limited”|
|2003||The company split into two separate arms:
|2004||To avoid confusion, BACS Ltd changed its name to VOCA|
|2005||All Service Users migrate to using Bacstel-IP software, a system which allows users to submit and monitor payments via the internet. This resulted in a further increase in the use of Direct Debits|
|2007||VOCA merged with LINK, the organisation that runs the UK’s cash machine network and became known as VOCALINK. VOCALINK provide domestic and international transaction services to banks and corporate organisations.|
Bacs has grown in strength since its creation. The Government has acknowledged that the Bacs payment system is of critical importance to the UK financial system and has confirmed that it meets the recognition criteria set out in the Banking Act 2009.
On one day alone, in July 2015, Bacs processed a massive 103 million Direct Debits and Bacs Direct Credits transactions – that’s a wopping 6.7 million every hour the system was open, or 111,000 transactions each minute.
And the year brought huge growth in the use of Direct Debits; the number of payments made this way rose by 239 million, surpassing the last record of 161 million set in 2004 by some way. In percentage terms, that’s an increase of 6.6 per cent and trillions in value!