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Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Charities authorising electronic payments

Banks who are members of the Payments Council have committed to making alternatives to cheque payments available to charities who rely on more than one authorised signatory.

The Payments Council press release says:

From the New Year, thanks to a collaborative project led by the Payments Council, businesses, small clubs and societies that authorise their payments using more than one signatory will have greater choice. This is because their nominated signatories will be able to authorise payments using either online banking or, in some cases, phone banking facilities, instead of relying on cheques as they do now.

The aim of this collaborative project has been to give charities, businesses, small clubs and societies – which rely on dual or multiple signatories for security purposes – more choice in how they make and manage their payments. Payments Council members* committed to this work to make electronic alternatives available as part of the 2011 National Payments Plan, though other banks and building societies may also offer these services.

Customers will, of course, be able to continue to use cheques as the industry has committed to make cheques available for as long as customers need them.

The commitment was to ensure that any Payments Council member offering multiple or dual authorisation cheque facilities to an existing business customer should deliver an online or phone banking alternative by the end of 2013.

Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council says:  “Nowadays more and more of us expect and want the option of being able to do our banking online or remotely and charities, businesses and small clubs and societies are no different. Although some may want to continue using cheques with dual or multiple signatories, this collaborative move by the industry will ensure that more of these customers have the option of using what will be considered by many to be a more convenient alternative than ever before.”

Any business interested in having the ability to authorise a payment with more than one person should speak to their bank or building society. The facility and the option to allow customers to authorise payments with more than one person is a competitive feature of accounts and, therefore, specific product details and associated terms and conditions may differ from institution to institution.

* The Payments Council members who currently offer multiple or dual authorisation cheque facilities and who made the commitment to deliver greater choice for their customers from the new year are: Barclays Bank plc, Clydesdale Bank PLC, Danske Bank, HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds Bank plc, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (including NatWest), and Santander UK plc. Other banks and building societies may also offer these services.