BACS threat to business

As many as 13,000 affected businesses may have to pick up a bill running into
millions of pounds because they have ignored warnings that the existing BACS
payment system will be turned off at the end of the year, writes Damian Wild.

Every company using BACS must migrate to the new BACSTEL-IP platform at the
end of the year. The new internet-based platform has been designed to improve
the security, reliability and speed of payments.

With 40,000 companies using BACS software directly, the industry is warning
that 35% have yet to migrate.

Any company failing to switch faces three choices: paying employees and
suppliers by cheque, which can run to three times the cost of a BACS transfer;
using an external payroll bureau, which can double the cost of a direct
transaction; or by making payments in cash, which presents an enormous security

Adrian Stafford-Jones, managing director of Albany Software, said that hidden
costs would push the bill into thousands of pounds for smaller organisations and
to tens of thousands for larger ones.

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