Bacs system failure hits 400,000 salary payments

Up to 400,000 people will receive their salary three days late because the Bacs payment processing system - used by every bank in the UK - experienced a failure on Wednesday.

Up to 400,000 people will receive their salary three days late because the Bacs payment processing system - used by every bank in the UK - experienced a failure on Wednesday.

“There was a processing problem at the Bacs system on Wednesday. It became clear on Thursday that not all payments had been made,” said Sandra Quinn, spokeswoman for the payments industry association Apacs.

The failure has affected the Bacs Direct Credit salary service. More than 90% of UK employees are paid using this service.

The system ran at a fraction of its normal speed on Wednesday, until a patch was applied to the platform at 10pm.

TowerGroup research analyst Gareth Lodge said, “400,000 transactions isn’t very many for Bacs, but it is people’s salaries. Had this occurred over the Easter weekend, it would have been a far bigger problem.

“The problem could have occurred due to human error, possibly from a third-party payroll processing company.”

The Bacs payment platform finished a four-year upgrade in 2006. It moved from legacy payment systems to the Voca Payments Engine.

The platform runs on Sun Fire 25000 Ultrasparc servers using an Oracle 10g database and the BEA Weblogic 8.1 application server.

Related article: Voca’s four-year overhaul of its IT systems

Related article: UK's new core payments system goes live without a hitch

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

 

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