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Faster payments

Faster payments

Barclays brings you Faster Payments

Faster Payments is a payments clearing scheme for electronic sterling payments in the UK.

Member banks have been gradually building up the number of transactions going through the scheme. Although not all members are fully operational, Barclays is sending and receiving payments up to the maximum amount permitted under the scheme.


Many of your electronic payments through Online Banking, Telephone Banking, branches or self-service kiosks could be processed in under 2 hours, however could take up to 24 hours to reach the bank. But note that payments are not guaranteed to be processed through the Faster Payments scheme (FPS). Payments can only be sent through FPS if they fall within the scheme limit and the receiving sort code is able to receive Faster Payments.

Always refer to payment guidelines shown on your invoices/bills as some payments will continue to take longer to be applied to an account once they have been received by the beneficiary bank.

If you need to check whether the sort code you wish to send money to can receive payments through the scheme, check at the Sort Code Checker

Barclays will always send your payments through Faster Payments where possible.

How does it benefit you?

  • It’s easy to use and you can make payments when it suits you
    • You can make online payments immediately at any time (standing orders are working days only)
    • Money paid to you can be credited to your account within two hours of being received, even when the bank is closed
  • It's cost effective
    • An improved, faster service that’s free if you are a Personal customer or Premier Banking client. Barclays Business customers may be charged depending on the tariff that applies to the account

For further information please visit your local branch or contact your Barclays Business Manager.


Q1. What is the Faster Payments Service(FPS)?

The Faster Payments Service (FPS) is a payments clearing scheme for electronic Sterling payments in the UK. Most electronic payments sent through FPS will arrive at the recipient bank on the same day. FPS will be used as long as both the sending and the recipient banks are participating in the scheme and the payment amount falls within the scheme limit. You can make FPS payments through Online Banking, Telephone Banking, branches or self-service kiosks.

Q2. Does the Faster Payments Service replace Bacs?

No but it will not be possible to choose to use Bacs. If a payment is within the Faster Payments Service limit [see Q9] and can be sent through the Faster Payments Service, Barclays will automatically send it that way. If not, it will be necessary to set up a CHAPS payment.

Q3. Is there a charge for the faster payments service?

There are no charges for Personal or Premier customers for Faster Payments transactions. Local Business customers may be charged for Faster Payments transactions depending upon the tariff on their account – the same as for Bacs transactions. Barclays Commercial Bank customers may be charged depending upon the tariff on their account.

Q4. How does the Faster Payments Service (FPS) work?

It works on a central system that’s external to Barclays. Barclays systems communicate with the FPS system, which then connects with the beneficiary’s bank to determine if payments can be sent via FPS.

If the payments are eligible to be sent via FPS, the following high level procedure takes place:

  • The FPS system sends the receiving bank the details of the account the money is going to.
  • The receiving bank then replies to the FPS system, confirming whether the payment can be accepted (and, if it can, how long it will be before funds can be withdrawn).
  • The FPS system sends the payment status information (either approved or rejected) back to the Barclays systems.

If the payment cannot be credited to the receiving account (for example if the account has been closed), the sending bank (in this case Barclays) will return the payment to your account. Certain beneficiaries, such as credit card and utility companies, may need additional time to credit funds to their customers' card or utility accounts.

Q5. Does this mean I can make my bill payments on the day they are due?

Sending a payment via the Faster Payments Service does not guarantee that the beneficiary account will be credited on the same day.

Not all sort codes are eligible for the Faster Payments Service and payments to accounts held at these sort codes will have to be made using CHAPS.

Q6. How long will a Faster Payment take?

Payments sent via the Faster Payments Service should be received on the same day (within 24 hours) – although there is no guarantee of this. Some will be available more quickly than others.

Each payment will receive a 'Status' message from the beneficiary bank which will provide information on how soon the funds will be available to the beneficiary.

You are able to view these status codes within Online Banking by using the Payments Status function.

Q7. How will I know whether another bank is participating in the Faster Payments Service?

You can find out whether a particular bank can receive Faster Payments by checking the sort code checker on the UK Payments Administration (formally APACS) website.

There may be occasions where a sort code is acceptable for faster payments, but a particular account held on that sort code is not (eg loans or savings bonds). This will not be visible to Barclays when the payment is sent, and is one of the reasons why we can only provide information about faster payments – not advice or guarantees.

Q8. Why can’t all payments be sent via the Faster Payment Service?

Payments can only be sent using this method when both banks involved are part of FPS and the recipient bank has enabled the receiving sort code to receive Faster Payments. Payments to sort codes which can’t accept Faster Payments will have to be sent using CHAPS. 

You can find out more about the Faster Payments Service at the UK Payments Administration (formally APACS) website. To find out whether a particular bank can receive FPS payments use their sort code checker tool.

Q9. How much money can be sent via the Faster Payments Service?

FPS has 'scheme limits' – maximum amounts for any payment sent through FPS. This maximum is part of the scheme rules, defined by the UK Payment Council and cannot be increased by Barclays. Payments exceeding this maximum will be sent using CHAPS.  Some other banks may also choose to impost their own, lower limits for payments sent by their customers.

The Faster Payment Service limits can be found on the UK Payments Administration (formally APACS) website:

Additionally, for your protection, Barclays has set transaction limits based on customer segment and the channel used for making a payment.

Although some customer segments do have higher transaction limits within Online Banking, the FPS limit still applies to all customers, across all channels.

Q10. How can I guarantee that a payment will be received by the recipient the same day?

You will need to arrange for it to be sent as a CHAPS payment but there will be a charge for this. For further information please contact your branch, your telephony team or where applicable, your Barclays Business Manager.

Q11. Can a payment sent via Faster Payments Service be stopped or recalled?

No. Faster payments cannot be stopped or recalled once you've confirmed your instructions.

Q12. How can I recover money sent via the Faster Payment Service?

You will need to apply directly to the recipient for a refund as the funds will already have been received by them.

Q13. Can I choose whether an electronic payment goes via the Faster Payment Service (FPS) or Bacs?

No. Once an electronic payment is entered into our system, it will automatically check whether it can be sent via FPS. If it can't be sent via FPS you will be told that you need to set up a CHAPS payment instead.

All payments will be sent via FPS unless:

  • The receiving bank is not an FPS member.
  • The amount of the payment is above the FPS limit.
  • The sort code has not been enabled by the receiving bank to receive FPS payments.
  • The payment cannot be processed via FPS (eg Direct Debits).

Q14. Are Direct Debits covered by the Faster Payments Service?

No, Direct Debits are not part of the FPS Service. (Direct Debits are claimed by the beneficiary, not sent by the customer. The beneficiary will normally specify direct debit dates to ensure that funds are received on time.)

Q15. Are standing orders covered by the Faster Payments Service?

Standing orders are treated in a similar way to single payments and will be sent via FPS if eligible. However, different scheme limits apply to standing orders. See Q9.