Faster Payment System (FPS)

Faster Payments is a fast and reliable bank-to-bank transfer that Zai supports in the UK. Below we explain what Faster Payment is and how it compares to other bank transfer options.

What is a Faster Payment?

The Faster Payment System (FPS) is available day and night, 365 days per year. Since 2008, the system has facilitated real-time bank-to-bank payments.

PayUK, owners of the FPS system, allows transactions of up to £1m via FPS, with each participating bank imposing its own limits. As of August 2022, there are over 40 institutions participating in the service.

How does a Faster Payment work?

There's a variety of methods where Faster Payments can be used. Typical methods include a mobile banking app, online banking portal or website, or an in-branch visit.

For a Faster Payment to be processed, both the sending and receiving bank or building society must be participants of the Faster Payment System.

How long does a Faster Payment take?

As the name suggests, Faster Payments are fast. Typically, a Faster Payment arrives within minutes, but sometimes it can take two hours.  For a Faster Payment to be processed, the amount sent must be within the bank's limit, and the sending and receiving bank or building society must be participants of the Faster Payment System.

Faster Payments can be made and received 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - which includes weekends and bank holidays.

What is a Faster Payment used for?

The Faster Payment System facilitates four categories of payments

  • Single immediate payments: payments are initiated as one-off payments online, using a mobile device, over the phone, or in a branch. Up to £1m can be sent per transaction (participating banks impose their own limits) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Forward-dated payments: payments are one-off payments, sent, and received on a pre-arranged date (which is set by the payer). Payments are typically used for bills or rental payments.
  • Standing orders: payments are a fixed amount paid on a regular date (i.e., the first of the month).
  • Direct corporate access payments: this is a service for business customers. It enables bulk files of payment messages to be sent directly to the Faster Payment System. Payment files are input using a secure-IP solution which is accessible 24 hours a day.

Faster Payments v Bacs v CHAPS

A Bacs payment is a bank transfer from one UK bank account to another. It's one of the most common types of bank-to-bank transfers in the UK. Usually, a Bacs payment takes three working days. 

A CHAPS payment is also a bank transfer. CHAPS payments are typically used for high-value payments or low value payments that are time sensitive. A CHAPS payment is received on the same day, provided it's submitted by the bank's cut-off time.

The Faster Payments System also facilitates near real-time transfers between bank accounts in the UK, 24/7. Transaction limits are capped, with most UK banks limiting transactions at £250,000.