Good news for consumers who pay their energy bills by Direct Debits is just round the corner, with energy firms pledging to refund future overpayments.
New rules due to be implemented shortly will see the ‘big six’ energy firms (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power and SSE) repay Direct Debits overpayments that, in the past, they were able to hold on to for quite some time.
An ‘unforeseen IT fault’ left 6,500 school staff in Dudley unpaid for part of October. The unspecified computer problem saw the unlucky employees out of pocket over an entire weekend, until a Bacs re-run on Monday paid them their earnings for the month.
This caused a bit of a stir, as you would expect. Dudley Council apologised and promised to reimburse bank charges caused by the delay, and parliament then got involved with Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Pete Lowe promising a “detailed review to ensure similar problems do not happen again in the future.”
So where does the problem lie? Almost certainly not with Bacs, it’s safe to say. Bacs Direct Credit is the system used to pay most of the UK workforce; it’s an efficient system but naturally only as good as the information it receives. Here’s a quick overview:
Bacs Direct Credit
Bacs Direct Credit is mainly used for paying benefits, wages and salaries. It’s extremely popular as these figures show:
- Over 90 per cent of the UK workforce is paid via Bacs Direct Credit.
- Bacs Direct Credit is used for paying 23 million salaries a month.
- In 2012, there were 2.2 billion Bacs Direct Credit transactions.
- Over 150,000 organisations use Bacs Direct Credit.
Bacs Direct Credit can also be used for other applications such as pensions, employee expenses, insurance settlements, dividends and refunds.
Some key benefits of using Bacs Direct Credit:
Speedy access – Funds paid by Bacs Direct Credit can be used on the day they arrive.
Saves time and effort – Money is paid automatically, so no need for customers to take cheques to their bank or building society.
Safe and secure – Bacs Direct Credit payments can’t be stolen or ‘lost’ in the post.
Reduces human error – There’s no need to write cheques or make individual electronic payments, which are both subject to human error.
A cloud-based solution to IT problems…
If Dudley Council (or indeed, any other business) is committed to stopping similar problems happening in the future, there are two obvious options; they can either put robust contingency plans in place to ensure employees aren’t affected by IT issues, or they could consider outsourcing their payroll Bacs submissions to a company that can provide secure and efficient salary payments. Like AccessPay, for example…
Because our payment and payroll solutions are cloud-based, ‘unforeseen IT problems’ simply aren’t an issue. Our uptime this year stands at 100%.
AccessPay has 4 UK based data centres, and offers full business continuity with bank-grade security and a full range of failover management. So even if there’s a problem with one (extremely unlikely as each server boasts tier 1 corporate specifications), our clients’ information is still protected and unaffected. All of which makes our Payroll Solution one of the safest and most reliable around.
The AccessPay Payment Suite for Payroll Professionals
The AccessPay Payment Suite is a secure, cloud-based Payroll Solution that connects with HMRC in real time. Payroll professionals can use it to give their employees secure, efficient and worry-free salary payments via different currencies and payment methods. It’s also a fully mobile and global solution, so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world with internet access, putting our clients in complete control.
If you’re interested, please feel free to get in touch. Dudley – we’re ready to take your call!
Following on from last month’s blog article where we announced our new partnership with SWIFT and gave you a quick overview. We thought it might be useful to go into a little more detail about the history of SWIFT, how their messaging works, and where The AccessPay SWIFT Payments Module fits into all this…
Are you ready for SEPA?
2014 is almost upon as, and the SEPA migration date of 14 February isn’t far away.
For a timely reminder of what SEPA is and what it has to offer, here’s a general overview (we’ve also included a link to more technical SEPA questions at the bottom of this article):
The days when only large companies and corporations had an international presence are gone. Today, businesses of all sizes can expand into new and growing markets around the world.
We’ve spoken to a lot of small and medium businesses who have taken the plunge and gone global over the last few years, and have identified 5 of the best recommendations for any business wanting to get their international expansion plans underway: