It was not long ago that making payments between UK bank accounts took a matter of days. Even as all our other communications were adapting to a world where near instantaneous communication had become viable, our payment systems were lagging behind. It became harder and harder to justify not having faster payment processing, but there was still a seeming lack of willpower when it came to implementing the necessary infrastructure changes that would allow for the Faster Payments system to be deployed.
How Can I Send a Payment Using the Faster Payments Service?
One of the best aspects of the Faster Payments service is that it happens automatically. If you want to be certain that your payments will be processed through the service then you need to check with the bank or building society you are with, as they will be able to advise you as to what systems they are using. Nowadays, the majority of payments made in the UK are sent through Faster Payments. However, for large sums of money, the older Bacs or CHAPS systems are still in use. Sometimes, payments that are set up a long time in advance will be sent through one of the slower methods. If you ask your bank or building society, they should be able to arrange to make payments using the Faster Payments service if they have access to it.
You can also choose to use a third-party service such as AccessPay to make faster payments. Companies like AccessPay take advantage of cloud computing capabilities to offer a number of advantages to customers.
How Much Can I Send?
Individual payments through the faster payments service can be up to £250,000, but many banks and building societies have their own limits below this amount. Usually, the limits that banks set themselves will vary according to the type of account the customer holds. Sometimes, the method of making the payment, whether it is online, in a branch etc., will also have an impact on the transaction limit.
How Long Will It Take to Reach the Recipient?
Payments can take up to two hours to reach their destination, but usually, they are there almost instantaneously. If the bank you are sending to isn’t a participant in the faster payments scheme (this is very unlikely today) then the payment will take longer to process. However, you should note that all financial institutions in the UK are bound by the Payment Services Directive (PSD). The PSD states that any payment made by internet, mobile, or phone banking must reach the recipients account by the end of the next business day. Under the PSD, the receiving bank is also required to make the funds available to their customers at the earliest opportunity. This is usually defined as the point when the bank receives the instruction, taking into account that many banks do not operate on weekends or during holidays.
Can Faster Payments be Reversed?
Payments using the service are processed in a matter of a few seconds. Once this has completed there is no way of reversing the payment. It is therefore crucial that you are certain beforehand that you are paying the correct amount of money into the correct account. If you do make an incorrect payment by accident then you will need to speak to the bank or building society that processed the payment, to find out what their policies are regarding the recovery of your money.
Faster payments are a fantastically convenient way of making payments quickly and efficiently and have become the preferred payment system for the vast majority of financial institutions in the UK. If your bank is signed up to the scheme, then any transfers you make will be completed using Faster Payments, provided they are suitable. The faster payments system is used for virtually all mobile, telephone, and internet banking services and while very large financial transactions aren’t made through Faster Payments, this is desirable as a way of reducing fraud.
An increasing number of employers are now using the Faster Payments system to pay their employee’s wages. If your bank is one of the few that doesn’t support faster payments, you can still use other services to send your money through Faster Payments.