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Faster Payments on Bank Holidays & Weekends

Faster Payments on Bank Holidays & Weekends

Launched in 2008, the Faster Payments service has completely revamped the UK’s banking system. Instead of waiting days for wire transfers to clear like in previous years, the vast majority of transfers are now done in real-time. This means you can expect to find your money fully available in your account within 2 hours. Often, it’s done instantly.

This puts you far more in control of your money. With millions of transactions done 24 hours a day, this safe, secure system allows you to send and receive money when you need to.

But is it available when you need it the most – like bank holidays and weekends? Let’s explain.

Do Faster Payments Work on Bank Holidays and Weekends?

Pretty much all wire transfers that use the Faster Payments service are processed 24 hours a day across the entire year. This means you can benefit from these real time transactions on bank holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays too.

However, delays can happen in a very small number of cases. This usually occurs when the sending or receiving bank is unable to process the transfer immediately. For example, this might be because they are currently updating their internal systems. In these situations, the payment will be effected and received as soon as possible.

Rest-assured, the vast majority of Faster Payments transfers happen instantly, whatever day it is.

Are BACS and CHAPS Payments Processed on Bank Holidays and Weekends?

Previously, wire transfers in the UK were sent using either the BACS or CHAPS systems.

Although still in use, most BACS transfers are only processed during working days. Even then, it usually takes around 3 days for the payment to become available in your account. Therefore, there’s very little chance of receiving a BACS transfer on a bank holiday or weekend.

The CHAPS system is a little quicker. Funds are usually cleared the same day, as long as they are sent before 5:30pm UK time. However, this service is only available on working days between Monday and Friday. Therefore, you cannot receive a CHAPS payment on a bank holiday or at the weekend either.

How do I Make a Faster Payments Transfer?

The good news is that all major UK banks and most smaller institutions are participants of the Faster Payments system. Pretty much all of them use this as their priority system. This means they will always try to send your transfers this way, so you rarely need to worry about slower processing times these days.

To send money via the Faster Payments service, you just need to setup a wire transfer as normal. This can be done via:

  • Mobile app
  • Online banking website
  • Telephone banking
  • Visiting any branch

You can ask your bank to process the payment there and then, or choose a specific time in future. Barring any rare circumstances, the payment will be delivered as soon as scheduled.

The system is completely safe and secure to use and is operated by Pay.UK. You can find more about what they do in this video:

How Faster Payments Revolutionised Bank Transfers

Until recently, bank transfers were the option of last resort for sending and receiving money in the UK. They were slow, didn’t work on bank holidays and weekends, and sometimes even incurred fees. Many people only used them for large transactions like house purchases.

But that’s all changed due to Faster Payments.

The system is so quick and easy that it’s now common for people to send money to friends or family at any time to pay for small purchases like meals, tickets, or other small expenses. You do have to enter their account number and sort code to begin, which can be a bit inconvenient. But once this is done, you can save their details to make any future transactions in a matter of seconds.

But many Brits are now electing to send and receive money from third-parties this way too. For example, this new system has breathed new life into gambling online. There are now many bank transfer casinos in the UK that you can sign up to which support these instant transactions. This makes it very quick and easy to deposit and withdraw money to your bank account at these sites whenever you want.

Of course, card payments are still widely used in the UK due to their convenience. This is unlikely to change. But it’s good to see that wire transfers have finally been upgraded to become a viable option for UK customers.

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