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UK direct debit bureau SmartDebit achieves 3 levels of FCA authorisation

By CreditMan Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Currently it is unclear to many businesses whether Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation is a requirement within the Direct Debit industry. This leaves businesses guessing at the potential risks involved in outsourcing payment collections via a Direct Debit bureau.

It's true that not all Direct Debit bureaus need to be FCA authorised - only those that carry out regulated activity (such as Facilities Management); however, this begs the question: are unauthorised Direct Debit bureaus providing these services doing all they can to protect customers?

Leading UK Direct Debit bureau, SmartDebit, actively seeks to provide protection and assurance to its customers and have recently achieved 3 levels of FCA authorisation to add to their already impressive list of compliance.

How does the FCA protect customers? Authorised Payment Institutions (APIs), such as SmartDebit, must report to the FCA on an annual basis so that the FCA can monitor on-going compliance. In terms of capital requirements, the FCA also ensures that SmartDebit maintain on-going capital resource levels as a buffer to absorb unexpected potential losses. In order to safeguard customers' funds, the FCA impose safeguarding requirements when customers' funds are held. They do this by ensuring that those funds are segregated from the API's working capital and other funds.

SmartDebit Director, Rhys Daniel, said "We know that the FCA's aim is to protect customers and this is why FCA authorisation is so important to us. Compliance, conduct and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. Applying to the FCA to become an authorised API was a logical step in our approach to embrace compliance, providing even greater assurance and protection to our customers who remain at the core of our business. We are very proud to have achieved this authorisation and recommend that any business currently collecting, or looking to collect, payments via a Direct Debit, should seek assurance that the bureau is appropriately compliant and regulated."

About SmartDebit
Payment Solutions Ltd trading as SmartDebit(R) [ ] is the UK's leading Direct Debit bureau (bureau no. B08032), specialising in payment processing on behalf of businesses, not-for-profits and the public sector since 1998.

Payment Solutions Ltd trading as SmartDebit(R) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (registration no. 612857), a Bacs Approved Bureau, ISO 27001:2005 Certified and adheres to PCI DSS Level 1 standards.