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Faster Payments - how long?

Online banking log-in screen
The new payments system is going to be phased in
After numerous delays, the Faster Payments Service will finally be launched - but how much difference will it make to you?

We asked each of the thirteen founder members of the Faster Payments Service to clarify what - if any - access they would offer their customers from Tuesday, 27 May, and if there would be any charge.

Below, you can read their responses.

Scroll down the page to find your bank or building society.

They are listed in alphabetical order.

Abbey will not be participating in the faster payments service from the start date of Tuesday 27 May but will roll out the service later.

This is what they have said:

"Abbey is committed to bringing the benefits of Faster Payments to our customers at the earliest opportunity and our timeline of late summer is consistent with the industry's phased approach.

"Abbey expects to be offering a full service to our customers well before the end of the roll-out phase.

"We have kept Apacs fully informed at every stage of development, and given that we are in the middle of one of the largest systems migrations in UK banking, are pleased with our progress."

"Alliance & Leicester is one of the Founder Members of the Faster Payments Service and will be participating from Day One.

"We plan to accept funds through the Faster Payments infrastructure from Day One (Tuesday 27 May).

"A&L want to offer the same consistent sending service to all our customers at the same time, so we are planning to offer a full faster payments sending service in late Summer 2008.

"Our approach is to launch our 'sending service' to all our customers at the same time, which we will be doing once the service is up and running and handling higher volumes.

"We think this makes it much simpler and straightforward for our customers.

"We are not making a charge for this service."

From Tuesday 27 May all personal and business Barclays customers will be able to receive payments.

For the first two days customers will only be able to send 1.

Barclays then hopes to increase the amount to 5 and then further increase the amount in stages.

By 16 July they aim for all customers to be able to send up to 10,000 (the scheme limit).

Woolwich Mortgages and Barclaycard will not be able to receive faster payments until later this year.

There will be no charge for personal customers.

Some business customers who already pay for electronic transactions (depending on their account) will be charged but at the same rate as currently.

"Citi is taking a phased approach to the launch with the Citi Corporate Bank launching its full payments in and out functionality from May 27th.

"At launch the Egg brand will be able to accept Faster Payments only.

"Other Citi retail brands (Citibank, and Citi Cards) will not accept faster payments until the launch of the full payment in and out Citi retail service due later this year.

"Egg will not be charging for receiving Faster Payments.

"As the outgoing service is not yet available for Citi retail brands whether or not there will be a charge for the service will be communicated closer to the time.

"Citi is taking a phased approach to the launch across multiple businesses and brands."

"All customers will be able to receive payments from 27 May (from other participating institutions).

"In line with the other banks, at the launch date a small number of customers will be able to make payments.

"This will be rolled out to all customers in a programme to be completed by autumn (this is to ensure the service is launched smoothly, securely and with total reliability for customers):

"We have no current plans to charge customers for it."

Co-Operative Bank is not offering a receive or send service to customers from Tuesday 27 May, but plan to start the service in July.

"We plan to launch a Faster Payments service to our customers in July 2008.

"We plan a phased roll-out, by sort-code and payment type and will be working with customers to ensure they are fully informed of when the new service is in place for them.

"We will not charge for personal transactions; for business and corporate transactions, we plan to apply the same as current fees for BACS transactions.

"The Faster Payments Service is one of the most complex payments services introduced in recent times.

"We want to ensure it is fully functional before making it available to our customers. "

Dave Sanders, head of Faster Payments at CFS said: "The Co-operative Financial Services is one of the thirteen founder members of the Faster Payments initiative and plans to introduce the service to customers from July 2008.

"The Faster Payments initiative is one of the most complex payments services ever introduced and we have chosen a launch approach that we believe is in the best interests of our customers."

Customers will be able to receive but not send payments from Tuesday 27 May - all personal and business customers of Halifax and Bank of Scotland will be able to receive up to 10,000 from day one.

Customers (business and personal) will be able to send from August/September.

They have made no announcements on charges yet.

"HSBC has completed preparations and testing in readiness for the launch of faster payments on 27 May and will be able to both send and receive faster payments to and from other banks within the Scheme from the launch date.

"Like many Scheme members, HSBC will phase in the introduction of faster payments and on Day One will commence the processing of bill payments and transfers between bank accounts.

"For the first week, we will limit faster payment transactions to bill payments and transfers between bank accounts to transactions up to 20 and thereafter for payments up to 10,000.

"Payments to HSBC credit cards will be part of the faster payments process by November 2008 and HSBC will facilitate faster payments of standing orders in the first half of 2009.

"Personal customers will not be charged for faster payments.

"For small businesses, we plan to charge the same as we do for '3 day' bill payments - the Small Business Tariff has payments via Business Internet Banking at 23p and receipts at 20p.

"For larger businesses, pricing will be subject to negotiation, as indeed are all of our services to such clients."

All personal and business customers will be able to receive payments from Tuesday 27 May and they will phase in the sending service for personal customers up until 6 June.

"We will be phasing in Faster Payments from 27 May, beginning with Telephone Banking customers and following with Internet Banking customers.

"All personal customers will be able to make and receive Faster Payments by 6 June.

"We plan to extend the service to business customers later this year.

"When customers contact us to make a payment we will make that payment as fast as possible in every case. We will let customers know at the time when a payment has been made as a Faster Payment.

"Whether or not a payment can be made using the new system will depend on the bank or organisation to which the payment is being sent - i.e. whether they are able to receive Faster Payments. "

They are not charging personal customers.

There are no additional charges for business customers but those who already pay will continue to do so.

A small number of their customers will be able to receive payments only from day one - just 2000 out of 4.4 million FlexAccount (current account) holders will be able to receive payments from 27 May - chosen by sort code.

They will roll out a receive and send service to those 2000 first, and they are aiming to offer both to all 4.4 million FlexAccount holders by the end of year.

Personal customers will not be charged.

"From 27 May 08 Northern Bank will be able to receive payments via FPS.

"Northern Bank customers will also be able to send a payment to an account with another Financial institution (subject to scheme rules), from any Northern Bank branch during normal opening hours.

"This will enable Northern Bank customers to make payments including bill and credit card payments via FPS.

"From 6 June 2008, Northern Bank will process all Standing Order payments via FPS (subject to scheme rules).

"Northern Bank is phasing the introduction of FPS.

"From 27 May 2008, Northern Bank can receive FPS payments and Northern Bank customers can send FPS payments through any Northern Bank branch (subject to scheme rules).

"From 6 June 2008, Northern Bank will process all Standing Order payments via FPS (subject to scheme rules).

"Later in the year we will introduce in phases the ability to send FPS payments via self service channels such as 24 Hour Telephone Banking, Northern eBanking and Northern Business eBanking.

"There is no charge to receive an FPS payment from another Financial Institution.

"If a Northern Bank customer sends a Faster Payment through any Northern Bank branch a fee of 5 will be applied.

"From 6 June 2008, Northern Bank will process all Standing Order payments via FPS (subject to scheme rules).

"There is no charge for this service."

"Northern Rock plans to receive payments through the new system from its launch date on 27 May 2008 and is committed to the next stage of the process, which involves sending payments through the new Faster Payment System.

"The new Faster Payments System is still at an early stage and, although Northern Rock has not yet confirmed its specific timescales for Faster Payments to be made, our focus will initially be on speeding up the process times of Standing Orders.

"When they are, standing order payments will continue to be free of charge.

"Details of our other services and individual charges for the Faster Payments System are yet to be finalised."

They are going "full throttle" from 27 May - business and personal customers will be able to receive and send up to the 10,000 limit from day one.

They have said they will not be charging personal customers - and also will not be charging business customers.

The above was compiled from information given to Money Box by the organisations. It is a guide for information only. For more information relating to your own specific circumstances you should seek advice from your bank or building society. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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