This requires the operator of the Bacs payment system to procure any future contracts for central infrastructure services in a competitive manner. The first central infrastructure contract competitively procured in accordance with this specific direction should be capable of receiving and sending all relevant messages (used in the payment system) in the ISO 20022 messaging standard.

Additionally, the operator must submit a plan for developing the future long-term strategy for Bacs to the PSR by 31 March 2023 and then submit subsequent reports on progress within nine months of the previous report.


We gave the original Specific Direction (SD) 2 to the operator of the Bacs payment system in June 2017.

In July 2021, we published our decisions on lowering risks to delivery of the New Payments Architecture. To implement those decisions, we gave SD 2a (varying SD 2) to the operator of the Bacs payment system in December 2021. The changes made to SD 2 by SD 2a apply from 1 January 2022. We have also published a consolidated SD 2 (as varied by SD 2a)

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