1. Home
  2. Payments - Receipts
  3. Direct Debit Bill Payments

UK payments in 2017 - the key data

The annual report on the UK payment schemes in 2017, see, includes important information about the progress and use of payment systems in the UK. 

Members of the clearings

The direct participants in the UK payment systems as at 31/12/2017 were:

Annual statistics

Interesting statistics on the Inter-bank and inter-branch transactions included:

  • Top growers (excluding BBCCL who have very low volumes):
    • Faster Payments: Single immediate payments: +23%
    • CHAPS: +7% (both Retail and Commercial, and Wholesale financial)
    • BACS: direct debits: +4% 
    • Faster Payments: standing orders: +4%
  • Top decliners  (excluding BBCCL who have very low volumes): 
  • Euro debits: -32%
  • Paper credits: -21%
  • Cheques: -15%
  • BACS direct credits: -1%

Individual clearings reports

Bacs Payment Schemes Limited

Bacs has been maintaining the integrity of payment related services since 1968, with responsibility for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of UK automated payment methods, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit. A membership company limited by Guarantee, Bacs currently has 19 members from the UK, Europe, and the US. Bacs also provides managed services for third parties, such as the Cash ISA Transfer Service, and the company owns and manages the Current Account Switch Service which has 46 direct participants.


CHAPS is the UK’s same day high value payment system for both wholesale financial and retail payments. Payments of any value are settled individually and irrevocably in central bank funds, and transferred over SWIFT. CHAPS is focused on systemically important, high value and time-critical payments. Currently 26 domestic and international financial institutions are Direct

Participants, with several future joiners planned. These serve over 5,000 Indirect Participants. Financial institutions such as banks, central counterparties and authorised non-bank payment service providers are eligible to join CHAPS. Most of CHAPS' value is accounted for by wholesale financial transactions and international sterling flows.

The Faster Payments Scheme Limited

The Faster Payment Service, operated by Faster Payments Scheme Ltd, enables internet, mobile and telephone banking payments as well as standing order payments to move from account to account, normally within seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As at the end of 2017 there were 18 direct settling participants, with a number more intending to join in 2018. Given its scale and reach, it is considered one of the most advanced real-time payment services in the world.

Cheque and Credit Clearing Company

The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company has managed the cheque clearing system in England and Wales since 1985 and in Scotland since 1996. As well as clearing cheques, the system processes bankers’ drafts, postal orders, warrants, government payable orders and travellers’ cheques. The company also manages the systems for the clearing of paper bank giro credits and

euro cheques (drawn on GB banks). There are 11 participants in the cheque clearing system and the credit clearing system and 10 in the euro debit clearing system. The Image Clearing System (ICS) was launched on 30th October with very low volumes going through the system. There are 17 Participants in ICS. More information on the ICS Participants can be found on our website:


The Belfast Bankers’ Clearing Company Limited (BBCCL)

The Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company was formed in May 2007 as a means of formalising existing rules and standards for sterling paper clearings and Euro debit clearing in Northern Ireland, and has 4 members. The role of the Company is to maintain the integrity of the clearing arrangements and ensure the system is efficient and effective.

CTMfile take: In all the excitement about Faster Payments and its continuing incredible growth rate, it is easy to lose sight of the facts that BACS processes four times as many payments, and that the value of CHAPS clearing is 17 times that of BACS let alone Faster Payments.

Like this item? Get our Weekly Update newsletter. Subscribe today

Also see

Add a comment

New comment submissions are moderated.