Monday, 4 April 2011

New guide reinforces advantages of automated payments for SMEs


I was emailed this press release by Bacs this afternoon. I thought I would share it... It really shows how important it is to get a good reliable and efficient way of getting your money.

Description: Description: Description: BACs_logo_low            Description: Description: Description: icm

New guide reinforces advantages of automated payments for SMEs

With £24 billion* now owed to British SMEs in late payments, a new guide for businesses, designed to highlight the cash flow and debt collection benefits of using automated payment methods, has been launched.

The Automated Payment Method Guide has been developed by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (Bacs), the organisation behind Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, and the Institute of Credit Management (ICM), as the latest addition to the hugely popular Managing Cashflow Guide series.

The guides, which are supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and endorsed by Lord Sugar, are designed to help businesses promote best payment practice under the guidelines laid out in the Prompt Payment Code. They have been downloaded more than 200,000 times since they were first launched in July 2009.

Mike Hutchinson, head of marketing at Bacs, said: “This new Automated Payment Method Guide provides an overview of the various automated payment methods available currently, and even more importantly, the benefits they can bring, such as direct cost savings, better cashflow, and greater reliability.”

Philip King, Chief Executive of the ICM, added: "Credit managers have two aims in keeping the cash flowing through their business. They want to ensure they are paid promptly, within terms and conditions that are negotiated and confirmed in advance, and they want to be guaranteed that the money is in the bank on the day that it was agreed.

“Payment transfer by electronic means is therefore an essential weapon in the credit manager's armoury to ensure payments are received on the day they are due, without delay, and with none of the uncertainty and inconvenience associated with cheques."

Bacs and the ICM announced a working partnership last year primarily to drive further awareness of the Prompt Payment Code and promote the importance of paying on time, across the whole business community.

The guide can be accessed at: www.creditmanagement.org.uk/berrguides.htm

- Ends -

Notes to editors
*Bacs Late Payments Research – November 2010

Media Enquiries
For all media enquiries, please contact the Bacs Press Office on 0845 680 1368 or bacs@war.uk.com

About Bacs:
Founded in 1968, Bacs, the not-for-profit, membership-based industry body is owned by 15 of the leading banks and building societies in the UK and Europe.

Responsible for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of automated payments in the UK including Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, Bacs has been maintaining the integrity of payment related services for over 40 years.

The Government acknowledges that the Bacs payment system is of critical importance to the UK financial system and has confirmed that it meets the recognition criteria set out in the Banking Act 2009.

Since its inception, over 84.9 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs. And in 2010 almost 5.7 billion UK payments were made this way with a total value of £4.06 trillion.

For further information please visit www.bacs.co.uk or go to www.thesmartwaytopay.co.uk, the home of The Smarts, an animated family who use automated payments to help improve financial management and control.

More about Direct Debit:
A Direct Debit is an instruction from a customer to their bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect varying amounts from their account. This can be used to ensure regular, safe and efficient payments of anything from household bills to charitable donations. Over three billion Direct Debit payments are processed by Bacs a year and 72 per cent of adults now have at least one Direct Debit commitment.

To learn more about setting up a Direct Debit to help keep your bank account in order, please contact your bank or building society.

More about Bacs Direct Credit:
Bacs Direct Credit is mainly used for paying wages and salaries - in fact over 90 per cent of the UK workforce is paid via Bacs Direct Credit. In total, Bacs Direct Credit is used for paying four million wages every week and nearly 25 million salaries a month.

In 2010, more than 2.28 billion payments were processed using Bacs Direct Credit, yet another new record for the payment method.

About the ICM:
The Institute of Credit Management (ICM) is Europe’s largest credit management organisation. The trusted leader in expertise for all credit matters, it represents the profession across trade, consumer, and export credit, and all credit-related services.

Formed over 70 years ago, it is the only such organisation accredited by Ofqual and it offers a comprehensive range of services and bespoke solutions for the credit professional (www.icm.org.uk) as well as services and advice for the wider business community (www.creditmanagement.org.uk)

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