Cash transfers to speed up
According to the banking industry body Apacs, from the end of May, cash transfers over the phone or by the internet will soon take only 24 hours instead of 3 days.
The system should have been implemented last November but was postponed to ensure the system was effective. The plan for the new system has been nearly 3 years in development, following an agreement between Apacs and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2005 that the existing procedures should be improved.
Apacs said the massive and complex project will also mean standing order payments will only take one day instead of 3 days.
Sandra Quinn of Apacs said the new, faster, payments service has cost the industry hundreds of millions of pounds to develop and implement. It will be a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week, service and transfers will happen immediately, Ms Quinn said.
The system is targeted at personal customers initially, business customers are set to benefit from the new system at a later date. The system has also been designed to handle the future rise volume of daily transactions.
Currently, internet and phone payments make up 4% of all payments in the banking system, with standing orders making up another 9%.
In 2001, there were just 6.2 million UK adults banking online, this rose to 17 million adults in 2006.