Latest figures show that 2017 was another record-breaking year for Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), with over 6.34 billion payments, worth a total in excess of £4.9 Trillion, processed by the company behind Direct Debit in the UK.
At the end of June 2017, a huge 111.7 million Direct Debits and Bacs Direct Credits passed through the system in a single day – that’s the equivalent of more than 7.2 million payments each hour the processing window was open (15.5 hours), or in excess of 120,000 per minute. That figure surpasses the previous daily high of 109.3 million transactions recorded in September 2016.
Across the year, Direct Debit volumes grew by 3.8% to over 4.2 billion, totalling over £1.3 trillion, with 155 million more payments made this way than in 2016, while Bacs Direct Credit saw values increase to £3.6 trillion, up 3% on the previous 12 months.
Michael Chambers, chief executive officer of Bacs, said: “At a time of unprecedented change across the sector, this continued and impressive growth once again underlines just how important our payment products are to consumers and businesses alike throughout the UK.
“Not only did we process more payments than we ever have in a calendar year in 2017, we also broke our daily record once again, handling more than 120,000 payments per minute at our busiest time.
“As we continue to play a key role in the evolution of the sector, we remain focused on ensuring that our products remain the payment method of choice for all those who rely on them each and every day.”
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 46 participants covering almost 100% of the UK current account market, the service has been used over four 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 Bulk Payment Redirection Service which is used by banks, government departments, and large corporates for moving substantial numbers of accounts and regular payments between banking providers.