Thousands of businesses have yet to migrate to the Bacstel-IP payments processing system, despite the old Bacs system being switched off on 1 January, clearing house Bacs has revealed.
In September, more than 30,000 Bacs customers were still using the old Bacs system, but most of these migrated to the internet-based replacement in the final quarter of 2005.
Bacs estimated that about 98% of active businesses have now transferred onto Bacstel-IP, but the remaining 2% represents about 2,000 companies.
Mike Hutchinson, Bacstel-IP marketing manager, said Bacs was happy with the response of the business community to the changeover. He added that the switch-off of the old system need not spell disaster for firms that missed the deadline, since nearly all were small to medium-sized enterprises that could transfer to Bacstel-IP in less than a month with the help of a software supplier.
He said banks were able to offer contingency solutions for affected firms to bridge the gap, including off-the-shelf products and bureau services.
Bacstel-IP has been generally available since the end of 2003. It was brought in by Bacs as part of what was originally a five-year programme to update its systems to improve resilience and cope with increased data traffic.