Becoming direct participants of Bacs

Hi :wave: I’m Ryan, and I’m a Backend Engineer here at Monzo.

This blog tells the story of how Monzo became a Direct Participant of the Bacs payment scheme, and what this means. Receiving your salary and paying Direct Debits are crucial parts of banking, and our customers expect them to just work. We had to perform a series of changes to how we receive these payments and how money moves between us and other banks, all without affecting a single one!

I hope you find it interesting!


there are still tape markers in the digital files we receive today!


Already very interesting from the first couple of paragraphs!


Thanks - really interesting blog post.

It would be great to get an update on any progress that has been made on supporting receipt of international payments into Monzo accounts. Does this work have any impact on readiness for that?


The talk of these files being transferred, makes me wonder if it’s just a secured FTP server or is it something more complicated? Would love to know (if it’s allowed to be public knowledge)

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No direct answer I can find on that, but if FTP is still used deep down it is secured by the wider technology of “Bacstel-IP”, like hardware security modules and the like

Here are a few bits from a brief dig:

Only software solutions that have passed a number of rigorous testing and approval processes are enabled to connect to Bacstel-IP for the Bacs Payment System and / or Secure-IP for the Faster Payment System.

Bacstel-IP is the delivery channel which gives corporate users secure online access to Bacs. Bacstel-IP is a multi-layered, highly advanced, online submission channel and the largest Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) community in the world.

Bacstel-IP is an online submission channel which is safe and resistant to data tampering. Direct submitters use the service to submit their payment files to Bacs. They can also track payments and view payment reports using the service.

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Hi @rkilburn. I totally missed this when it happened - great work. I have a question… if you have a Monzo Business account and a Monzo Personal account, will you at some point be able to set up Bacs Direct Credits? I have some threads from quite a few years ago about this, but basically it’s really useful because the Direct Credits fire before the Direct Debits. This means that you can pay yourself on the first (if you are paying yourself from your Monzo Business account) and the money will arrive before all your bills go out. Back then the standing orders fired too late, and so you had to pay yourself the day before, which is kind of annoying to set up because months have different numbers of days. How does the system work these days? Are the standing orders always before the direct debits? (I did a cursory check just now and… maybe?) Are the standing orders guaranteed to have completed before Direct Debits fire? So many questions!

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