BACS migration pay-risk threat

Car manufacturers, local authorities and charities are among more than 30,000 organisations at risk of missing the deadline to migrate to an upgraded version of the BACS payment system - and having automated payments cut off.

Car manufacturers, local authorities and charities are among more than 30,000 organisations at risk of missing the deadline to migrate to an upgraded version of the BACS payment system - and having automated payments cut off.

The system deployed by Voca (formerly Bacs) to process direct debits, direct credits and staff pay for around 110,000 client companies has been upgraded to use IP technology in an attempt to cope with a rapidly growing number of transactions.

Existing systems will be switched off at the end of the year, following a two-year migration process.

But with just three months to go, more than 30,000 organisations have yet to migrate , putting their staff payroll and other critical functions at risk, Voca says.

Around 20,000 organisations that outsource their payroll to bureaux need only fill in a form to ensure their service supplier has migrated to new software, said Mike Hutchinson, marketing manager for the new Bacstel-IP system.

But around 10,000 direct users of the BACS service need to ensure they have moved across to the new system. Hutchinson said: "These are largely SMEs. But there are some local authorities, some charities and still some car manufacturers [yet to migrate].

"The requirement is to change their software. They need to buy, install, test and be trained on it." Software suppliers are offering packages to migrate to the new system that cost a few hundred pounds, he added.

Businesses may have failed to organise the migration either because they believed - wrongly - that their outsourced service provider would complete the paperwork for them, or because "the software they've got works". That will change at the end of the year, Hutchinson warned.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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