The phrase ‘Bacs approved bureau’ is one you will regularly come across when looking for a Direct Debit solution, but what does it mean? And how does it impact your selection? Find out everything you need to know here.

Who is Bacs?

Bacs, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the New Payment System Operator (NPSO) in May 2018, are the not-for-profit body responsible for the operations of Direct Debit, Direct Credit and a range of other payment schemes in the UK.

A major part of Bacs’ role is to ensure the complete security of the system: they have strict regulations laid out in order to ensure that the potential for security breaches are minimised. World-leading online security, alongside inspections of bureau’s offering Bacs services, play a key role in safeguarding businesses. This approach has helped to make Direct Debit one of the UK’s most trusted and safest payment method.

What is a Bacs approved Bureau?

A Bacs-approved bureau is a Bacs user which has been authorised to submit Bacs payment instructions on behalf of organisations who are either unable to make their own submissions or wish to outsource this service to a specialist team. Bacs approved bureaus are the only organisations authorised to make these types of indirect submissions.

As part of this approval process, any business wishing to process Direct Debits on behalf of another is required to pass an initial inspection to ascertain suitability, before then undergoing further inspections once every three years or when major structural changes are implemented.

Passing all inspections and achieving the status of being a Bac approved bureau is the minimum requirement for any Direct Debit management company, although further certifications such as being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)  or having  ISO 9001 certification can provide extra reassurance of enhanced security standards for clients.

Why use a Bacs approved Bureau?

Whether or not you use a Bacs-approved bureau will very much depend on the nature of your business. However, the majority of businesses offering their customers the ability to pay by Direct Debit, often choose to outsource this service rather than submitting directly to Bacs in order to side-step onerous administration and avoid regular compliance training for staff.

If you’re curious about how a Bacs-approved bureau could help your business, our team of experts are available for a free, no-obligation consultation. Simply call us on 0344 8266 700, email us on: fcc-info@bottomline.com or fill out our contact form.