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What Are Bacs Reports?

We have all probably either been involved in a Bacs transaction or received some form of Bacs payment in our professional or personal lives. A Bacs transfer is a form of payment which is essentially an electronic money transfer between banks. 

Data indicates that there were 6,780,827 UK Bacs transactions in 2023, up on 2022 figures by one percent. 


  • - What Does Bacs Stand For?
  • - What are Bacs Reports?
  • - Key Bacs Reports
  • - How to Access Bacs Reports
  • - Setting Up the Right Payment Solution


What Does Bacs Stand For?

Bacs is an acronym for Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services. As a system, it was established in 1968 and has been one of the most common payment forms over the last 50 years. 

Bacs is a regulated payment system that is operated by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd, also now referred to as Pay.UK. This system is mostly used to send and receive money between banks. 

There are two types of Bacs transactions:

Direct debit

With a direct debit, you give permission for a company to automatically take payments from your bank account on a specified date. Some examples of common direct debits are mortgage or utility bill payments with the total direct debit volumes for 2023 being 4,827,292 in the UK.            

Direct credit

This is where a payment is made into your account by a third party, such as a salary or pension. Bacs direct credit volumes for the UK were 1,953,536 in 2023. 

There are some key differences between Bacs direct debits and direct credits:

  • - Bacs direct debits are initiated by the organisation collecting payment with the payer’s authorisation. Direct credits are initiated by the organisation making the payment. 
  • - Direct debits are used for regular or recurring payments, whereas direct credit can be used for one-off or irregular payments. 
  • - Direct debits require the payer to provide authorisation to the payee so they can withdraw funds, but direct credits don’t need the same authorisation level as payers initiate payment. 

A Bacs payment generally takes three working days on average to go through and complete the transaction, as long as it’s sent within a defined timeframe. 

Infographics Bacs direct credit volumes for the UK were 1,953,536 in 2023., for the blog what are bacs reports

What are Bacs Reports?

If you or your organisation processes Bacs direct debits, direct credits or both, you will have access to some Bacs reports. Your Bacs reports will contain a range of important information, including how many Bacs payments have not gone through or if there is a problem with any payments. 

Bacs reports are essentially electronic reports generated by Bacs which provide information around the various payment transactions and instructions that have been processed within your organisation. 

It’s essential that you have access to and review your Bacs reports so that you can minimise the possibility of failed payments or incorrect collections. Both of these cases can cause problems, frustrations or delays for you and your customers. 


Key Bacs Reports

Depending on your organisation and the type of Bacs payments you are involved with, there will be different Bacs reports available to you. The three most common are:

  1. Input reports which give detailed information on accepted and rejected payment instructions. 
  2. Payment advice reports that detail failed payments. These include ARUDD (Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits) and ARUCS (Automated Return of Unapplied Credits Service).
  3. Message advice reports that notify users about any changes to payment instructions, such as ADDACS (Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation Service).

These reports enable Bacs users in organisations to maintain clarity over their payment submissions and manage any issues with payment completion or collection. In addition, Bacs reports help businesses keep track of payment activity and sustain accurate payment records, which are essential for transparency and accountability. 

The Bacs Payment Services website or Bacstel-IP software will give you access to your relevant Bacs reports. 


How to Access Bacs Reports

You can access your Bacs reports using one of the following three methods:

  1. Using the Bacs Payment Services website, you can log in with your smartcard and PIN or a contact ID and password. Visit the ‘processing reports’ section to download your Bacs reports.
  2. Using Bacstel-IP software, you can read and download Bacs reports.
  3. You can set up email notifications that alert you to new Bacs reports as they become available to download. 

It’s helpful to check your Bacs reports regularly as they are often time-sensitive and may contain critical payment information necessary to the smooth running of your business. 


Setting Up the Right Payment Solution

If you’re thinking about setting up Bacs solutions with Bacs reports for your business, then it’s a good idea to research your options and make sure the one you choose is ideal for your operational needs. 

Visit our solution finder to discover the right payment solutions for you and your customers and access helpful advice to get you set up in no time.