Before looking at BACS approved software and the question of BACS software providers it’s probably worth a quick recap of what the BACS payment system is. BACS stands for “Bankers Automated Clearing Services” and is a system that facilitates payments being sent electronically from one bank to another, also known as a bank debit. It is widely used by businesses in the UK to pay wages to their employees, as it works with all payroll software and is the cheapest and simplest means of making such payments.
The ease and simplicity of the system is countered by the fact that it is relatively slow. Payments generally take three working days to arrive in the destination account, and can only clear on business days and in line with strict cut-off times. If you want a payment to reach a recipient by Friday, for example, it will have to be sent before 3pm on the preceding Wednesday.
What are BACS approved software providers?
A BACS approved software provider is a company that develops and supplies the hardware, software and support services needed by organisations that use the BACS payment system. The products and services drawn from BACS approved providers have to meet specific criteria so that end-users feel safe in the knowledge that the software they are using to manage payments is completely secure
For the BACS approved software providers themselves, the fact that they have met the criteria for approval offers a range of advantages. These advantages include the following:
The chance to offer input into the development of the software used to deliver BACS payments in the future
Being listed on the official BACS website as a trusted supplier of BACS approved software
They can display the official “BACS approved software supplier” logo on published materials and content
The BACS approved software criteria
Suppliers must join the BACS approved software programme and meet its strict standards if they want to develop and promote their BACStel-IP, which is the foundation of the BACS payment system, as well as the Secure-IP interface, which is required if a provider wishes to use the Faster Payment System.
The criteria for approval include the software itself undergoing mandatory testing with the official BACS organisation, as well as some staff undergoing training on the BACS payment system as a whole and the details of BACStel-IP and, if needed, Secure-IP.
The software solutions provided by any BACS approved software providers will have been tested by the BACS Approved Software Service (BASS) to ensure that they can deliver the following actions:
The authentication of the parties communicating via BACStel-IP or Secure-IP
The authentication of the BACStel-IP or Secure-IP services connecting the parties
Secure communication – which remains confidential and safe – between BACStel-IP and Secure-IP and the BACS approved software in question
The correct format and content for all submissions and communications to BACStel-IP and Secure-IP
The correct format and content for all BACStel-IP and Secure-IP reports, and the ability of the BACS approved software to retrieve them
The handling of error and warning responses across the BACS approved software
The correct use of trademarks across the BACS approved software
Current BACS approved software providers
Grange IT Limited
SAA Consultants Ltd
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about BACS approved software, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.