Glossary

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A

Account limit
A monetary limit set by the sponsor on an individual account to restrict the value passing through for a fixed period

ADDACS
See Bacs Notifications

Additional Contact (AC)
A type of contact linked to a service user. An additional contact cannot be given any privileges to maintain their service user or other contacts but can still be allocated a Smart Card with privileges to sign/submit payments and download reports

Advance Notification
The notice period (normally 10 working days plus postal time) given to the payer in respect of the date of debiting and the amount to be debited.

Agency bank
Any bank participating in the Bacs / Direct Debiting Scheme who is not a sponsor.

Amalgamation of payments
Multiple or combined payments relating to more than one contract collected under a single Direct Debit Instruction (DDI)

APACS
APACS is now known as the UK Payments Administration.

API - Application Programming Interface
A set of program components which perform certain tasks and can be used by other programs. e.g. V-Series can be supplied as an API. Other programmers can then build applications which use the features of V-Series such as Web Applications.

ARUCS
See Bacs Notifications

ARUDD
See Bacs Notifications

AUDDIS
See Bacs Notifications

AWACS
See Bacs Notifications

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B

BAB
Bacs approved bureau - a commercial bureau awarded approved status by Bacs

Bacs
An organisation and a system for transferring money to and from UK bank accounts. Mainly used for business to business payments and collections. It also manages the Direct Debit Scheme.
Read more on Bacs »

Bacs Cycle
The three day cycle (minimum three English bank working days) taken for a payment instruction to be submitted to Bacs for processing and the time it reaches the destination account. The processing cycle has the following stages: arrival, input, processing and entry.
Read more on the Bacs 3 day cycle here »

Bacs Direct Credit
Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables both large and small organisations to make payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank or building society account. It is mainly used for paying wages and salaries.

Bacs Notifications
Delivered via Bacs to provide business critical data in a standardised format for reintegration with 3rd party applications or provision in a readable format:

  • ADDACS - Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation Service
    The service allowing banks/building societies to advise service users of any amendments to or cancellations of Direct Debit Instructions set up for an account.
  • ARUCS - Automated Return of Unapplied Credit
    A reporting mechanism by which banks return unapplied credits to you as the service user via the Bacs service. The ARUCS report is generated with a reason as to why the funds are being returned, such as account closed or beneficiary deceased. A notification will be emailed when the report is available to be viewed and downloaded from the Bacs web channel.
  • ARUDD - Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits
    The service allowing bank/building societies to re turn to the service user any Direct Debit payment instructions they could not apply.
  • AUDDIS - Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service
    The service enabling Direct Debit Instructions (DDIs), the message to set up a new direct debit to be transferred electronically from service users to the Paying Banks and building societies via the Bacs service.
    Read more on AUDDIS »
  • AWACS - Advice of Wrong Account for Automated Credits Service
    If a Direct Credit has incorrect account destination details the receiving bank will try to locate the correct account and advise the originating organisation of the details. The AWACS is the automated system used by the banks to notify the organisation of the correct details to be used for future payments. A notification will be emailed when the report is available to be viewed and downloaded from the Bacs web channel.

Bacs payment services website
A secure website for service users to download reports, view submission information and manage PSC's and Additional contacts.

Bacstel-IP
A service which employs Internet Protocol combined with PKI security to access the Bacs 3 day service. May be accessed using either the Payment Services website or Bacs approved software. The service is used for submissions to Bacs, for report collection and administration of user data.

BASS - Bacs Approved Software Service
Solution suppliers wishing to market Bacs connectivity packages submit their products for testing and if approved, may market themselves as suppliers of Bacs approved solution/software.

BICS - Bank Identification Codes
BICs are used to uniquely identify financial institutions to facilitate cross-border automated payments, as defined by the SWIFT BIC standard. BICs can comprise of 8 or 11 characters, and include a bank code (4 characters), a country code (2 letters), a location code (2 characters) and an optional branch code (3 characters).

Bureau
The role of the Bureau is to deliver payments via the payment services at VocaLink (commonly referred to as Bacs) on behalf of its customers. A Bureau is accredited by Bacs, undergoing rigorous inspections at regular intervals. Different categories of bureaux are: Commercial - Submitting data to Bacs on behalf of a totally independent third party customers. Bank - offering members service direct. In house commercial group - working solely for the group and submits data to Bacs incorporating either a single company that has different user numbers for different applications or a company group where each individual company has its own user number(s).

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C

Calendar day
A day according to the Gregorian calendar, for example, 11 July 2007

CHAPS - Clearing House Automated Payments System
A system providing same day settlement between financial institutions for low volume, high value transactions

Comma Separated Values (or Variable) (CSV)
A common format for saving spreadsheet or database information. Excel is able to open or save files in CSV format. ePay is also able to import data in CSV format.

Consequential loss
A loss incurred by a payer which is a consequence of the direct loss suffered as a result of an erroneous Direct Debit transaction

Core reference
A unique reference on the Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) of a minimum of six alpha numeric, upper case characters which matches the DDI to the subsequent Direct Debit payments (Also see reference)

Counter claim
A claim raised by a service user against a paying bank following settlement of an indemnity claim which the originator believes to be unjustified

Credit
A transaction that credits a destination account

CRM - Customer Relationship Management
An information industry term for methodologies, software and usually internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organised way.

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D

Data record
A unit of information corresponding to a debit or credit transaction

Direct Corporate Access (DCA)
Part of the Faster Payments service which provides a same day clearing payment service to UK member banks. DCA will provide banks' business customers with direct access to the Faster Payments Service (FPS) clearing service in a very similar way that Bacstel-IP provides access to Bacs.

Direct Credit
Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables both large and small organisations to make payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank or building society account. It is mainly used for paying wages and salaries - over 90% of UK salaries are paid by this method.

DD - Direct Debit
A payment of an agreed amount collected electronically on request by an Originator directly from an individual's bank account. The amounts and dates may vary from payment to payment.
Read more on Direct Debits »

Direct Debit Guarantee
The guarantee offered by the paying banks to payers in respect of the Direct Debit Scheme specifying their rights and safeguards

DDI - Direct Debit Instruction
The authority signed by a customer allowing the Originator to collect DD payments from the customer's account.

Direct Submitter
A service user that sends payment information directly to Bacs.
Read more on Direct Submitters »

Debit
A transaction that debits a destination account.

Destination account
The account to which a transaction is addressed.

Dormancy period
A period, normally 13 months, from Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) lodgement or last Direct Debit payment, after which a paying bank will drop details of a DDI because no payments have been collected

Due date
The debit date as advised to the payer in the advance notice from the service user

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E

EDI - Electronic Data Interchange
A format for the exchange of data (in the form of messages) between computer systems. It is commonly used in the retail industry, as a means of exchanging order/goods related data. A typical application of EDI is when a large retail organisation (the hub) wishes to replace its paperwork with a more automated system in order to communicate data to its suppliers (the spokes). The hub and each spoke become trading partners and form a trading relationship.

EDI Message Standards
Several industry specific standards have evolved. The main standards supported by our eCONNECT solution are:

  • AS2
    Applicability Statement 2. Widely used in numerous supply chains, specifically in retail.
  • EDIFACT
    EDI For Administrations, Commerce and Transport. The international EDI standard messaging syntax under the responsibility of the UN, for trading transactions in all industries.
  • ODETTE
    European automotive industry standard.
  • TRADACOMS
    One of the most common EDI standards used in the UK.

EISCD
The EISCD is a comprehensive database of payment-related information for UK banks and building societies. It contains information about all bank offices or branches involved in the UK clearing systems: Bacs, Faster Payments and Cheque and Credit Clearing. The EISCD contains details such as sorting code, BIC, branch title, postal addresses, telephone number and notes which clearings each bank office participates in. The data can be incorporated into systems to assist automating payments processes.

Entry day (day 3)
This is the third day of the Bacs 3 day Cycle, the date the funds are transferred via Bacs. Payments may be sent up to 31 days in advance of entry date, This is also known as the Payment Date.

EFT - Electronic Funds Transfer
The electronic transfer of money from one account to another.

ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning
An information system or process integrating all manufacturing and related applications for an entire enterprise, allowing organisations to manage resources across the enterprise .

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F

Faster Payments Service
This new imitative facilitates almost 'real time' payments via Bank internet accounts. Telephone banking services or via a service similar to Bacstel-IP using a 'Secure IP' network, for Bacs Direct Credit submitters (including Bacs approved bureaux)

Field
A field describes one data field, in terms of its syntax and its length and its format. One or more fields form a record.

Field 9
The short name of the service user (maximum of 18 characters) which appears in the Direct Debit payment record and may appear on the payer's bank statement.

Field 10
The reference (maximum of 18 characters) applied to the Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) by the service user when it is logged with the paying bank. This must also appear in the Direct Debit payment record.

Field 11
The Payer's account name (maximum of 18 characters). This must be the name of the person who is paying The Direct Debit and has signed the DDI (Direct Debit Instruction).

File
A self balancing set of records from a service user.

FTP
A standard network protocol used to exchange and manipulate files over a TCP/IP based network, such as the Internet.

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G

Garnishee order
Old name for third party debt order - an order of an English, Welsh or Northern Irish court addressed to a bank to pay money from a debtors account to a judgement creditor in satisfaction of a judgement debt.

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H

HSMs - Hardware Security Modules
An HSM is a hardware device that secures private keys in a PKI infrastructure. It is principally used where smart-cards are not considered viable, particularly in larger businesses or where user-interaction is undesirable (i.e.. an application running "lights-out"). Within the Bacs framework, a HSM device can be used in place of a smart-card to sign a file destined for, and authenticate oneself with, Bacs.

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
A document format language used in the creation of Web pages.

HTTP
A networking protocol

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I

IBANs - International Bank Account Numbers
An IBAN is a unique series of alphanumeric characters that identifies a customer's account held at any bank across the World. IBANs have been introduced to help reduce errors associated with complex cross-border transactions, providing a worldwide standard format for displaying and validating international bank account numbers. IBANs usually contain an ISO country code (2 characters), two check digits for validation purposes, a domestic bank code and the account number.

Indemnity
A document which contains a legally binding undertaking to make payment to a paying bank in response to an indemnity claim . An indemnity , in standard form, is an essential requirement of the Direct Debit scheme.

Indemnity Claim
A claim made by the paying bank in respect of an incorrect Direct Debit being applied to an account

Indirect Submitter
A service user that can originate payment information, but does not send it to Bacs itself. It uses a Bureau to send payment information.
Read more on indirect submitters »

Input day (day 1)
The day the payment data is sent to Bacs.

Input deadline
Time by which a transmission must be completed (22.30) if the items are to be processed on the following processing day

Input report
A report which confirms the processing of a payment file. A notification will be emailed when the report is available to be viewed and downloaded from the Bacs web channel.

Instruction
See Direct Debit Instruction (DDI)

Interbank transfer of Direct Debit Instructions
A service to assist customers when moving their bank or building society accounts by electronically transferring Direct Debit and Standing Order information between banks or building societies. Also known as Transfer of Direct Debit and Standing Orders (ToDDaSO)

Internet Protocol
The Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of computer technologies that enable many computers to exchange information reliably and efficiently, where ever they may be, worldwide. IP is in very widespread use and has become the de facto standard for data networking. IP is the foundation of the global public Internet and is also the dominant technology used by organisations sharing private networks.

Irregular payments
Irregular payments, which occur more than once in a 13 month period

ISCD - Industry Sort Code Directory
A database produced by Bacs which consolidates all Cheque and Credit Clearing, CHAPS and Bacs Payment Schemes sort code related information, as well as information held in the Reeds Sorting Code Directory. The ISCD has now been replaced by the EISCD.

Item
A term used to describe a single Bacs transaction.

Item Limit
A ceiling monetary amount, requested by a service user, to be set against individual items. When the limit is exceeded, the record is noted on the input report

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L

Limit value
A financial limit agreed with the sponsoring bank on an individual account to restrict the value passing through that account for a fixed period.

Live status
An organisation or bureau, who has successfully submitted test files and has been authorised by their sponsoring bank to submit live files to Bacs.

Local Master Key (LMK)
The LMK gives the HSM an identity that is unique to the organisation using that HSM. The LMK is backed up to Smart Cards which are used to restore the HSM in a Disaster Recovery situation.

Lodgement (lodged)
The process of the paying bank accepting the Direct Debit Instruction (DDI).

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M

Member
A bank or building society that is a member of Bacs

Migration (AUDDIS)
The process by which an originator transfers non AUDDIS Direct Debit Instructions (DDIs) to the automated AUDDIS system (Also see AUDDIS)

Modulus Checking
An arithmetic check comparing a valid link between a sort code and account number range. Modulus checking is used by Albany's solutions to check the validity of account numbers for a sorting code. This allows organisations to check the possible validity of account details prior to submission to Bacs, drastically reducing payment and collection errors and delays.

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N

Nominated account
The account quoted on a record as the originating account for a particular organisation from which credit/debit transactions are to be distributed

Notice of expiry
Is deemed to have been given if the originator identifies the final payment under the expiring Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) by use of transaction code 19.

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O

OFTP - Odette File Transfer Protocol
Used to send EDI files over Value Added Networks (VAN's).

Originating account
The account from which a payment originates

Originator (This term is no longer used)
This is an old term and has been replaced with Service User.

Originator Identification Number (OIN)
The same 6 digit number as the service user Number (SUN) that is used by organisations to send Direct Submitter payments to Bacs over the Bacstel-IP network. The term OIN has been superseded by the term SUN however some banking institutions still refer to the OIN in their documentation.

Overlimit
Referral of a file, which exceeds the limit for the nominated account set up by the sponsor.

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P

Payer
The person who by signing a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) has given authority for his/her account to be debited by the service user using the Scheme.

Payers branch
The paying bank branch holding the payers account to be debited.

Paying bank
The bank maintaining the payers account.

Payment date
The day on which the funds are paid, also known as the entry date.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)
A unique 4 digit number associated with your Smart Card.

Preferers
People who prefer to use Direct Debit for most of their bills

Processing cycle
The minimum time taken for a payment instruction to be submitted to Bacs for processing and the time it reaches the destination account. The processing cycle has four stages: arrival, input, processing and entry.

Processing day (day 2)
Is the second day of the Bacs Cycle.

Proxy Server
A Proxy server's main purpose is to allow access and to deny access to certain web pages on the internet. It is a secure way to access the internet.

PDF - Portable Document Format
Type of electronic document which can be read by Adobe acrobat reader. Versions of acrobat reader are available for most types of computer, thus making PDF a useful format for documents distributed on the web.

PKI - Public Key Infrastructure
Public Key Infrastructure is a computer technology for secure exchange of information amongst individuals and computer systems. It allows a trusted organisation, such as a bank, to issue Digital Certificates to people and organisations that need to trust each other. It is generally used in conjunction with IP. The certificates are used by their holders to prove their identity. They can also digitally sign documents and transactions. The signature proves the authenticity of the transaction and proves that the data exchange has not been modified or tampered with. Digital signatures are now acceptable in a court of law. The same technology is also used to encrypt data in transit so nobody other than the intended recipient can read it.

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R

Receiving account
Also referred to as destination account.

Record
In Bacs terms a record corresponds to a credit or debit transaction.
or
A group of fields are constructed to produce a record. One or more records form an application template.

Reference
This is the number allocated by an originator to each individual DDI and Direct debit.

Refund request
A claim which is not covered by the valid claim criteria. Generally where a bank has made a payment in error.

Remittance Advices
Used to detail payments to your suppliers. They remove the need to send suppliers a letter with your payment and can be produced and distributed electronically using one of Albany's e-document distribution solutions.

Re-presentation
A Direct Debit that has been returned unpaid to the originator being resubmitted for payment.

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S

Secure-IP
The delivery channel for the Faster Payments Service

Selectives
People who are selective about their use of Direct Debit and use it for only some of their bills

SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area)
A single payment area in the EU to allow consumers and businesses to move currency across the EU as easily, safely, efficiently and inexpensively as it does within current national borders.

Service user
An organisation that has been sponsored by their bank to use the Bacs service to make payments.

Service user number (SUN)
A unique 6 digit number allocated to a service user to enable identification with and use of Bacs Payment Schemes.

Single payment
A single payment can be defined as a Direct Debit which will only be collected once only, or a one-off payment.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
A messaging standard used to send and receive email.

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
A protocol for exchanging XML-based messages over a computer network, normally using HTTP. It is widely used for applications such as V-Series, due to it being platform independent and firewall friendly.

Solution supplier
A Bacs solutions supplier is a company that provides Bacs approved software solutions to businesses that wish to access the Bacs service. These solutions include Bacstel-IP software and hardware packages, mailbox services for Bacs reports and total management solutions to handle and run Direct Debit and Direct Credit systems.

Sort code directory
This is a register of valid Bacs sort codes maintained by the paying banks. This information may be held by originators to check a payer's bank branch sort code.

Sort code
A six digit code uniquely identifying the location of where an account is held

Smart Card & Smart Card Reader
A Smart Card is a credit cared sized plastic card containing a microchip which holds information in a digital format that identifies a user to Bacs and authorises them to do any signing, submitting or retrieving reports inline with their product rights. Smart Cards are provided by your Sponsoring Bank, and require a Smart Card reader to transmit user information and credentials to Bacs.

Sponsor/sponsoring bank
Bacs member authorising organisations and bureaux to submit data for processing. Though the term sponsoring bank is often used, this actually refers to banks and building societies.

SQL
This is a Microsoft database that can be used as the back-end to specific Albany products normally utilised for larger scale installations. Please note Bottomline Technologies do not supply or license the Microsoft SQL product.

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T

Three day cycle
The service offered by Bacs where the minimum time taken for the processing cycle is three processing days. Input, processing and entry occur on consecutive processing days

TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
A widely used file format for storing greyscale and colour images, typically used by eConnect Online to deliver by fax.

ToDDaSO - Transfer of Direct Debit and Standing Orders
A service to assist customers when moving their bank/building society accounts by electronically transferring Direct Debit and Standing order information between banks / building societies.

Transaction code
A series of codes used in connection with transactions processed via Bacs determining the type of transaction. In the context of Direct Debiting there are a number of codes for Direct Debits already in use, 01, 17, 18, 19. AUDDIS requires three new transaction codes for AUDDIS DDI messages - these are '0N' (new DDI), '0C' (cancellation of an existing DDI) and '0S' (existing manually set up DDI being converted to AUDDIS specification). In all AUDDIS transaction codes the leading character is a zero. Credit Payments commonly used code 99.

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U

Unpaid Direct Debit
A Direct Debit that is returned uncollected by the paying bank, for example, insufficient funds

Unpaid Direct Debit reason codes
A series of codes used to denote the reason for returning a Direct Debit unpaid either by automated means via Bacs (ARUDD) or by manual advice.

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V

VAN - Value Added Network
Value Added Network is a telephone cable network which acts like a 'private internet'. Used for sending messages for electronic trading via EDI and offers better security than the internet.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A way of setting up a secure connection between two or more computers via the internet. A VPN can be used to securely connect to a LAN via the Internet using shared security keys and allows you to communicate using a local IP address rather than the external address, i.e. from the ISP through the Internet commonly known as tunnelling.

VocaLink
VocaLink Limited (formerly Bacs Ltd) is the commercial company under contract to Bacs that physically processes the payment data.
Read more on VocaLink »

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W

WAN - Wide Area Network
WANs are used mainly to connect LANs together, so that users and computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations. Most WANs are built for particular organisations and are private.

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X

XML
A standard which describes markup languages (see HTML.) XML allows information to be stored or transferred in a structured manner, enabling disparate programs to 'understand' its meaning.

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