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January 22, 2019updated 23 Jan 2019 12:53pm

Pay UK record volumes as industry revamp ramps up

By Douglas Blakey

Automated payments hit an all time in 2018 as Pay UK record volumes highlight the UK’s world class payments infrastructure.

Bacs owned by retail payments authority Pay UK, processed 6.4 billion transactions worth almost £5trn during 2018.

It is the 12th successive year the annual Bacs record has been broken.

In August 2018, Bacs processed 580 million payments. This broke the existing record of 573 million, dating back to December 2015.

A new daily high of 114 million transactions was set at the end of August 2018. That record was broken in November when 123 million payments were processed in one day.

In 2018, direct debits soared to nearly 4.4 billion transactions. That is the equivalent of eight monthly direct debits for every UK adult.

Nine out of 10 adults in the UK have at least one Direct Debit commitment. Bacs Direct Credit is used to pay over 90% of the UK workforce, as well as one billion benefit payments, and pensions and dividends.

Pay UK record volumes, record direct credits

Pay UK record volumes also apply to Bacs Direct Credits. Such payments include wages, salaries, pensions, and benefits, as well as supplier payments. Record values of almost £3.63bn in 2018 compare with £2.9bn ten years ago.

Paul Horlock, chief executive of Pay.UK, says: We are working hard to create the best retail payments industry in the world.  Results like this underline the strength of the foundations on which we are building.  We are committed to enabling a vibrant UK economy, and the continued growth of these established payment products can only help us in delivering that.”

In 2018, Pay UK brought together the most important UK retail payment services. Bacs, Faster Payments, and Cheque and Credit Clearing are all now part of the same organisation.

PayUK’s remit also includes working in the public interest to ensure that the systems the country relies on for its banking transactions are safe, open, innovative and resilient.

Bacs celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.  

Since launching, Bacs has processed over 125 billion payments.

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