Banks on target for 24/7 payments

Banks on target for 24/7 payments

Upgraded technology platform will provide same-day clearing for standing orders

The banking sector will meet the May deadline for delivery of an upgraded, faster payments system, said industry association Apacs.

Using the round-the-clock system, payment clearing time for normal standing orders will reduce from three days to a couple of hours.

"All banks are working at full speed on the development of their individual gateways to the system," said an Apacs spokeswoman.

The alternative payment system will provide a backup for situations such as the Bacs glitch last year, she said.

Some 13 banks are joining the scheme, including Barclays, Co-operative Bank, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The programme is open for other banks to join and will be controlled by its own members. The Bank of England will provide oversight.

The new system will run alongside existing UK electronic payment schemes such as Bacs and CHAPS.