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All internet and phone payments to be faster from 2012

  • New legal requirement for electronic payments to reach the recipient’s account by the business day after being sent at the latest
  • 15 million more internet, phone and standing order payments expected per month through same-day Faster Payments system
  • produces consumer factsheet to explain the changes

Quicker internet and phone banking payments are set to become standard from 1 January 2012, enabling many consumers to pay their tax and credit card bills on a same-day basis for the first time.

The new maximum timescale for electronic payments, technically known as D+1, requires payments across the EU to reach the recipient’s account by the end of the next working day. However, all standing orders and one-off internet and phone banking payments in the UK will exceed this requirement, being processed end-to-end within two hours through the Faster Payments service.

The D+1 change, which forms part of the Payment Service Regulations*, is expected to bolster the number of Faster Payments by 25% next year, creating an additional 15 million internet, phone and standing order payments per month. So far in 2011, over £200 billion has been processed in more than 500 million Faster Payments transactions.

To help consumers make sense of the change, the Payments Council’s consumer education campaign, has produced a factsheet.

Commenting for, Chief Executive of the Payments Council, Adrian Kamellard said: “This is great news for consumers and businesses. More bills are going to be paid more quickly through Faster Payments and the change will mean more certainty if you have been sent money too.

“Not all payments we make will fall under this regulation and it is important to understand which will and which won’t. If you want to know more about how the changes will affect you, or just need advice on how to get started with internet banking, has advice and guides on every aspect of payments.”

Direct Debits and Bacs Direct Credits already meet the new legal requirements by ensuring that money is paid and received on a defined date and so will continue to be processed in the same way. As the legislation only covers electronic payments, cheques are also unaffected and will continue to be processed under the 2-4-6 cheque clearing timescale.

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For further information, contact Sarah Tye or Anna Schirmer at Lansons Communications on 020 7294 3633 / 020 7294 3605/, or the Payments Council press office on 020 3217 8340/ 020 3217 8441/


* The Payment Services Regulations 2009 (PSRs) implement the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD) in the UK. Up until 1 January 2012, a Payment Service Provider (i.e. bank) could agree with the customer that payments would clear three business days following the day the payment order was received; the change means payments must be cleared the business day after the payment instruction is received. These timescales are known as ‘D+3’ and D+1’.

The Payments Council has been working with the Faster Payments Scheme and member and agency banks to ensure that all Bacs addressable sort codes for credits are Faster Payments addressable by 1 January 2012.

2-4-6 cheque clearing
The 2-4-6 cheque clearing timescales set a maximum time limit of two, four and six working days for each of the clearing stages – when a bank account will start to earn interest on money paid in by cheque, when the money will be available for withdrawal and when a cheque has finally cleared. The timescales cover cheques, bankers' drafts, bankers' cheques and building society cheques paid in to a UK sterling current account and basic bank accounts.

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Payments Council

The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK.  This unique role ensures that we listen to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs.  We are, by nature, a collaborative body so we work with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of our external stakeholders.The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK. 

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The Pay Your Way campaign

The payment choices available to UK consumers have expanded at an increasing rate since the early 60s.  Pay Your Way is a Payments Council campaign that aims to educate consumers about the different payment methods available to them. aims to help consumers make informed choices, with practical guides explaining how to make various types of payments as well as a comprehensive glossary of payment terms and advice on security, reliability, speed and costs.

Go to to find out more.