Manage payments

Indirect Access to UK Payment Systems

Indirect access to UK payment systems | Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland is a leading provider of Sterling clearing and settlement services to banks, building societies and other payment service providers licensed to operate in the UK and which choose not to become a direct member of the relevant UK payment scheme.

We offer dedicated indirect access services to the following UK domestic payments systems:

Indirect Payment Service Providers (PSP) which we sponsor have a wide range of technical access options including SWIFT, online channels, host to host connection, file transfer or direct submission depending on the payment system.

There are two models for obtaining indirect access to these UK clearing schemes.

Via Royal Bank of Scotland you can use a bank account to receive and originate payments on behalf of your customers. You can use the same range of money transmission and cash management services available to Royal Bank of Scotland’s business customers. These services are explained in the Royal Bank of Scotland business website.

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated UK sort code sponsored by RBS to receive and originate payments on behalf of your customers. Full details of the services with RBS sponsoring your UK sort code are described in these pages. 

Why Choose RBS:

  • RBS is a high volume participant in Bacs, CHAPS and Faster Payments and the Image Clearing System.
  • RBS is represented and influential on UK payment industry working groups.
  • RBS is represented on a wide range of European industry bodies and an active participant in key European industry initiative.
  • RBS is a member of SWIFT and one of the largest processor of SWIFT payment messages globally.

Royal Bank of Scotland is pleased to be a subscriber to the industry ‘Code of Conduct for Indirect Access to UK Payments Systems’, which sets out best practices for an indirect access provider sponsoring other PSPs into the UK payment systems.

For more information about the Code and information on options to access to the UK payment systems, please visit:

For more information on our indirect access services, please visit other sections of this site.

If you would like to explore how Royal Bank of Scotland could support you to make and receive payments using our indirect access services or would like more information on these, please contact our FI Proposition team at indirectacess@natwest.com, who will introduce you to the appropriate Business Relationship Team.

When contacting us please provide as much of the following details as possible. This will help us review your request and respond to you faster. 



  • Latest Audited accounts.
  • Latest Financials/Management Information.
  • Both current and projected payment volumes.

Regulatory and Supervisory Framework

  • FCA or relevant regulator and authorities number – if not available, then the date that an application was made is to be provided.
  • Account types required.
  • Payment services required.
  • Independent AML/financial crime audit.

You may also write to our FI Proposition team at the address below:

Commercial & Private Banking
250 Bishopsgate

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Registered in Scotland No 83026. Registered Office: 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2YB. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Royal Bank of Scotland is entered on the Financial Services Register and its Register number is 114724. The Financial Services Register can be accessed at www.fca.org.uk/register.

Eligibility for Indirect Access and Banking and Payment services

To become an indirect PSP supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, you will need to establish a banking relationship with us to support your use of our indirect access services. As with any new customer we must undertake various checks and where you wish to make and receive payments through us, we have specific obligations to follow as a bank.

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UK Clearing Systems and Associated Services

We can sponsor Indirect PSPs into the following UK payment systems:

  • Bacs - Bulk payments (Direct Credit) and collections (Direct Debit). 
  • CHAPS – High value – same day payments.
  • Faster Payments – 24x7 near real time payments.
  • Image Clearing.
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Overview of Terms and Conditions and Charges

As an Indirect PSP we require both you and your clients to operate within the relevant scheme rules and procedures. Failure to do so may place in jeopardy access to the schemes and related services

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UK Sort Code allocation

Sort Codes (6 digit numeric) are a key component of the unique identifier which routes payment instructions in the UK. Each sort code can be linked to one or more of Cheque and Credit Clearing (C&CC), Bacs, Faster Payments, and CHAPS payment systems. In certain cases the payment system permits the service user to select the transactions types to be allowed, for example Bacs allows Direct Debits to be selected or excluded.

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Making payments

Indirect PSPs can make submit payment files to Bacs directly via the electronic connection called “Bacstel-IP”. Bacs payments have a three working days cycle: they are entered into the system on the first day, processed on the second day, and are debited and credited on the third day

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Receiving payments

Information on electronic payments received into your dedicated sort codes for credit to your customer accounts are reported using the RBS Data Services. If you are a Bankline Direct or Bankline Exchange user the information is delivered thought these channels.

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