Indirect Access Services


If you are a Payment Service Provider (PSP), we can help you to connect to us and, where appropriate, to connect directly to the UK's central payment systems. Here you'll find information on the various ways you can connect to HSBC Bank Plc., how we charge for our Indirect Access services and what eligibility criteria we apply when offering services to PSPs.


Contact

If you are not already a HSBC Bank Plc. customer and wish to enquire about HSBC's Indirect Access Services, in the first instance please contact Akshat Saharia in our Indirect Access Team at: indirect.access@hsbc.com

Please include the name of your organisation, your contact details and a brief description of the type of Indirect Access services you are interested in.

This information will only be used by us in order to provide a response to your specific enquiry.

Alternatively, you can call Akshat Saharia, in our Indirect Access Team on 0207 992 3619.

If you are an existing HSBC Bank Plc. customer, please contact your Relationship Manager or your Client Service Manager to discuss your requirements.

HSBC Bank Plc’s Registered Office Address:

HSBC Bank plc

8 Canada Square

London E14 5HQ

United Kingdom


Sponsorship

HSBC Bank Plc. is able to sponsor PSPs as Indirect Participants of the following UK Payments Systems: BACS, CHAPS, Cheque and Credit Clearing (Image Clearing System) and Faster Payments.

This will enable you to offer your customers:

  • The chance to set up Direct Debits on their accounts, claim Direct Debits from their own customers and to make or receive automated Bacs credits
  • Same-day value payments and receipts of any value
  • Cheque Books and Bank Giro Credits, allowing them to issue cheques and deposit cash and/or cheques
  • Near real-time payments and receipts, up to 24 hours a day

Where possible we will allocate you a unique sort code for indirect participation (or a number of sort codes if you wish to allocate a sort code to specific branches or business lines) and this sort code(s) together with a dedicated HSBC settlement account(s) will be used in connection with indirect access to the UK Payments Schemes. We can link multiple sort codes to a single settlement account or arrange a separate settlement account for each sort code.

Transfer of Sponsorship

If you are transferring your indirect participation business to or from HSBC, we will (if possible) support the transfer of your existing sort code(s) for Bacs, CHAPS, the Image Clearing System and Faster Payments, to ensure a smooth transition.

Bacs

Indirect participation in Bacs will enable you and your business customers to access the UK's batch-based automated clearing house for both direct credit and direct debit transactions, and thereby benefit from the efficiencies to be gained from scheduled payments activities.

  • Many PSPs and business customers choose to connect directly into the central Bacs clearing platform using Bacs Approved Software. If you have business customers who wish to access Bacs services directly using Bacs Approved Software, we can also, with prior agreement, co-sponsor these customers and establish the necessary credit limits.
  • HSBC also offers you the ability to submit indirectly to Bacs via a number of Channels:
    • HSBCnet as either a single payment, a batch of payments or as a file of payments
    • HSBC Connect as a file of payments
    • SWIFTNet FileAct as a file of payments
  • We allow our customers to submit Bacs as:
    • Files via SWIFTNet FileAct, HSBC Connect or the file upload module within HSBCnet. The following formats are supported - Bacs Standard 18, CRG Paymul and XML ISO20022
  • To aid with your automation in processing your incoming credits and direct debits, we can also supply Information Services files containing of Bacs transactions and/or unpaid direct debits via HSBCnet, HSBC Connect or SWIFTNet FileAct.

Further information on the Bacs payment system can be found at www.bacs.co.uk


CHAPS

Indirect participation in CHAPS will enable you to make and receive same day value payments of any size on behalf of your customers.

  • CHAPS payments are made in SWIFTNet MT103 or MT202 format, although we can support other formats, such as XML, subject to prior agreement.
  • HSBC provides CHAPS payments as single messages using SWIFTNet FIN or HSBC's on-line banking channel, HSBCnet.
  • We can also accept CHAPS instructions in files of transactions via SWIFTNet FileAct, a file upload on HSBCnet or via HSBC's host-to-host connectivity platform, HSBC Connect.
  • We offer a competitive cut-off time for initiation of payments and will apply all incoming payments to the settlement account up to the daily closure of the CHAPS system.
  • Advice of receipts, in MT103, 202 or 910 format is delivered in near real time via SWIFTnet FIN and is also available via HSBCnet.

Further information on the CHAPS payment system can be found at https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/payment-and-settlement/chaps


Cheque and Credit Clearing

If you wish to offer your customers the ability to draw cheques on their accounts with you and to pay-in cash and cheques using a bank giro credit, then indirect participation in the Cheque and Credit Clearing system (Image Clearing System) will enable that.

  • You will need to ensure that your customers’ cheques and credit forms comply with industry standards
  • On each banking day, the images of physical cheques drawn by your customers and the credits recording lodgements to your customers' accounts will be made available to you electronically via HSBCnet; this will be on Day 2 of the clearing cycle.
  • It will be your responsibility to decide whether a cheque should be returned unpaid and to follow the industry-wide processes for dealing with returned items.
  • To aid processing of incoming cheques and giro credits, we can supply automated data files of individual transactions via, HSBCnet or HSBC Connect.

Further information on the Image Clearing System can be found at www.chequeandcredit.co.uk


Faster Payments

Indirect participation in Faster Payments will allow you to make and receive payments on behalf of your customers up to 24 hours a day and extend to them the benefits of the rapid growth in popularity of the Faster Payments System, especially for retail payments.

HSBC’s solution allows you to submit Faster Payments via a number of Channels:

  • HSBCnet as either as a single payment, a batch of payments or as a file of payments
  • HSBC Connect as a file of payments
  • SWIFTNet FileAct as a file of payments
  • SWIFTNet FIN as a payment message

HSBC carries out the necessary mapping to match the ISO8583 standard on which FP operates so that you do not have to adopt new and unfamiliar file formats. We allow our customers to submit payments as:

  • Files via SWIFTNet FileAct, HSBC Connect or the file upload module within HSBCnet. The following formats are supported - Bacs Standard 18, CRG Paymul, SWIFT MT103 and XML ISO20022
  • Cloned MT103 on the single Priority Payment screen on HSBCnet
  • Cloned Bacs Standard 18 on the ACH screen on HSBCnet

HSBC can provide individual advices and file acknowledgments detailing the status (completion or rejection) of a Faster Payment instruction.

Whilst HSBC's Faster Payments gateway is available for payments and receipts 24x7, our Channels (SWIFTNet, HSBCnet and HSBC Connect) are subject to maintenance windows during weekends, which may limit your access to send and receive Faster Payments.

HSBC provides their clients with a number of features to assist with the reporting of Faster Payment receipts. Upon receipt, we will credit your account with the funds and we can then forward the details of the payment to you as an individual Credit Advice or a bulk Information Services file.

Further information on the Faster Payment System can be found at www.fasterpayments.org.uk


Additional Services

HSBC also offers its Indirect Access customers additional services that can expand the capabilities of their underlying customer offering. These services allow great levels of automation and reconciliation thus enhancing the efficiency of the Indirect Access Service:

Branch Counter Services
We offer your customers the ability to use HSBC branches to deposit cash and/or cheques and withdraw cash by prior arrangement under an agreed Credit Open Facility.

Current Account Switching Service (CASS) and Cash ISA Service (CISA)
We can support your participation of these services by processing the full range of payment types together with access to the industry platforms.

Information Services
We offer an extensive range of automated files, detailing transactions designed to meet your requirements for supporting data. These will be extremely beneficial in respect of batch based payments and all files can be integrated into your back office systems, allowing high levels of automation and reconciliation.


Fees

We do not levy up-front participation or entry fees in respect of participation in our Indirect Access Services. Our fees are based on the services you use and will be split between file charges and per item charges. The charges you pay will be based on the volume of transactions you use, with individual item prices based on volume bands and will be advised by monthly itemised invoicing. We may charge for project management to cover implementation costs. All ancillary fees (where applicable) will be explained in detail and agreed in relationship to each service provided.


Eligibility Criteria

To use HSBC Bank Plc's Indirect Access services, you must satisfy certain criteria:

  • You will need to be a customer of HSBC Bank Plc., and as such, you will need to satisfy our risk-based criteria for customer selection. You will be asked detailed questions about your own and your customers' payments, as well as your wider business activities (please see requirements in the Next Steps section below).
  • You must also be registered with, or authorised by, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for activities that include provision of payment services or be an EEA-passported Payment Service Provider.
  • Satisfactory operational and business model, financial status and experience.
  • Compliance with the appropriate UK payment system(s)’ rules (Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments and Image clearing scheme).
  • You must have a strong Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Policy in place that also includes Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions (including United Nations, European Union and UK HM Treasury) and Terrorist Financing. We require proof of such policy in order to verify the following:
    • Policy and procedures in place to comply with UK and EU Payment law regulations.
    • Policy and procedures in place to report any suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency.
    • Policy and procedures in place to identify Politically Exposed Persons.
    • Robust processes in place to identify and verify your customers and their underlying transactions.
    • Appropriate screening and monitoring of new and existing staff in line with your policy.
    • Staff AML, Sanctions, Terrorist Financing, suspicious activity reporting and record keeping training in place.
    • Audit trail of how money is received and remitted, to ensure payment transparency.
    • Your procedures with evidence of your compliance with all other relevant regulatory requirements e.g. Tax, Consumer Credit (CCA) license.
    • Records management procedures in place to retain customer information for the appropriate period.
  • We are only able to provide Indirect Access Services to clients that meet our minimum revenue thresholds (where applicable).

Next Steps

  • Your enquiry will be directed to the relevant team that will be responsible for considering your request and a member of that team will contact you. We will explore your requirements in more detail and advise what information will be required to progress with an application for indirect access.
  • It is important that we consider whether Indirect Access services are appropriate for you and so we will only accept your application if we are able to fully meet your requirements within the appropriate regulatory and legal obligations.
  • The following are examples of the type of information we may request from you at different stages of the application, to inform our decision:
    • Description of the nature of the PSP’s UK business
    • Confirmation of, or evidence of application for, authorisation by the FCA (or equivalent EEA Authority) for payment services permission.
    • Description of the services you provide, or plan to provide to customers and your requirements for general banking services and access to payment system(s).
    • Information on the types of customers you serve or plan to serve, along with the countries where you operate. We will need to understand the types of payments you intend to offer and whether they are domestic or cross-border, to enable us to make an assessment on our ability to support your requirements.
    • Current and future funding needs to enable an assessment of your credit requirements, including details of any existing relationships with other banks.
    • Daily and annual actual or predicted volumes and aggregate payment values to assess suitability for the indirect access services, impacts on payment system settlement values, market significance and the overall impact for HSBC’s liabilities and risks. The information is important to allow HSBC to make an assessment on any operational impacts, risks and capacity requirements and to determine applicable charges.
    • Know your customer requirements will include evidence of your company registration, organisation ownership, sources of funding, governance and structure, along with the details of authorised individuals.
    • Information on your senior management’s background and experience in this sector. Senior management must hold the appropriate qualifications and have acceptable risk profiles.
    • Confirmation of your adherence to applicable laws, regulations, legal obligations and appropriate codes of conduct.
    • Extended customer due diligence requirements for Payment Service Providers will require evidence of policies, processes and compliance controls in place to assess compliance with Anti -Money Laundering, Sanctions and Financial Crime regulations and PRA and FCA conduct requirements.
    • Explanation on the specific risks posed by your current or proposed operating model and these risks must be sufficiently mitigated through policies, processes, governance, procedures and the potential use of technology.

Code of Conduct

HSBC Bank Plc. is a subscriber to the voluntary Code of Conduct for Indirect Access Providers.

Further information about the Code and a link to the document itself can be found at www.accesstopaymentsystems.co.uk/code-of-conduct


Find out more

Access to payment systems This website from Pay.UK - the UK’s leading retail payments authority - contains everything you need to know about connecting to the UK's payment systems.

www.accesstopaymentsystems.co.uk