Payment Systems in the UK

There are four main interbank payment systems in the UK: CHAPS, BACS, Faster Payments and C&CC. These were previously operated under the umbrella of the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS). Now run as independent companies.

Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS)

The real-time gross settlement system used for sterling transactions in the United Kingdom. It is operated by the CHAPS Clearing Company (CHAPS Co.). The infrastructure is provided by the Bank of England.

Bankers’ Automated Clearing Service (BACS)

A high-volume, retail deferred net settlement system operated by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (BPSL). BPSL became a subsidiary of Pay.UK in May 2018. It has a three-day clearing cycle and infrastructure is outsourced to a third-party service provider.
Bacs is responsible for automated payment methods such as Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit (used for salaries and benefits), as well as provision of Current Account Switch Service, Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Industry Sort Code Directory.

Faster Payments Service (FPS)

A retail deferred net settlement system operated by Faster Payments Schemes Limited. Launched in 2008, it runs three settlement cycles per day. The infrastructure is outsourced to a third-party service provider.

Cheque & Credit Clearings (C&CC)

Operated by the Cheque & Credit Clearings Company (C&CCC), this is a clearing for paper-based payment instructions. The volumes of this system have been in long-term decline.

LINK

LINK is a shared interbank network of cash machines operating in the United Kingdom. It is administered by LINK Scheme Ltd. UK issued debit cards generally come with a LINK EMV application in addition to a point-of-sale EMV application that can be Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard, Maestro or Visa Electron applications.

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