All the reports available through Bacstel are available through Bacstel-IP however under Bacstel-IP they are delivered in different formats. These reports include:
- Reports from Bacs regarding the submissions process (Arrival, Input, Withdrawal and AUDDIS Direct Debit instructions returned via Bacstel-IP by Voca (the Bacs Operating Company).
- Reports from paying banks regarding Unpaid Direct Debits and Unapplied Direct Credits (ARUDD and ARUCS), Direct Debit amendments and cancellations (ADDACS), wrongly addressed Direct Credits (AWACS) and AUDDIS Direct Debit Instructions returned by banks.
The vast majority of Bacstel users received their reports in hard copy through the post. Some advices, such as ADDACS, were sent via X.400 messaging although in many cases these were still printed by the user.
Under Bacstel-IP, all reports are accessed electronically and can be provided in HTML or XML format. However, Bacstel-IP offers much more than an opportunity to reduce the volume of paper reports in circulation. A considerable level of automation and business integration can be introduced depending upon the requirements of the user. This offers the potential to make considerable improvements in personal productivity and risk management as well as reductions in cost.
Manual report retrieval
To retrieve reports manually, Bacstel-IP users may log onto the Bacs Payment Services web channel https://paymentservices.bacs.co.uk to view their reports in HTML or download them in XML. Reports can then be forwarded to other users manually. Secure access is gained using PKI credentials (a Smartcard and PIN) or by using the Alternative Security Method (ASM) (a username and password).
The Bacs Payment Services web channel will notify users via e-mail (up to three recognised contacts) that a report is available and it is possible to specify which report notifications are sent to which contacts. Alternatively, users may access their reports using their Bacstel-IP solution in conjunction with a Smartcard. This has the benefit of enabling the automatic distribution of downloaded reports for onward processing, provided that this feature is supported by the Bacstel-IP solution. However, the process of report download can only be fully automated if the PKI credentials are stored on a Hardware Security Module (HSM).
Although most users will prefer to access their reports using their Bacstel IP solution, they will still require the Bacs Payment Services web channel and an appropriately authorised Smartcard for the administration of reference details.
Automatic report retrieval and distribution
If an HSM is installed the user’s Bacstel-IP solution can automatically log onto Bacs and download the reports on a scheduled basis without manual intervention.
Depending on the capability of the Bacstel-IP solution, it may be possible to extend automatic report retrieval to include automatic notification, distribution and archiving of reports to users including those without Smartcard authorisation. Reports can be treated differently according to their type, relative importance and value.
This is particularly useful for the ARUDD and AUDDIS return reports as any delay in dealing with these has a financial cost to the user. It is important therefore to ensure that procedures are in place for these reports to be checked regularly. As ADDACS reports are issued at any time, these should be retrieved daily.
Automatic archiving enables organisations to maintain a high quality of traceability and auditing control.
Report integration with business applications
As Bacstel-IP reports are downloaded and stored in XML, users have the opportunity to integrate these reports with their organisation’s business management applications turning previously passive reports back into active commercial data.
By doing this it is possible to develop sophisticated business workflows and apply amendments directly to the source business application databases. For example, the Input report may be automatically consolidated with the originating application, and amendments from services such as ADDACS and ARUDD can be applied automatically to billing applications. In turn, this creates the potential to generate automatic letters and call schedules for a customer service centre direct from the data provided by Bacs without manual intervention.
To take advantage of sophisticated business workflows such as these, organisations need to implement an advanced Bacstel-IP solution and undertake a level of business application integration and development.
Benefits of report integration
The level of integration achieved between Bacstel-IP and an organisation’s business applications will determine the extent of the business benefit, including potential savings in time and resources.
Potential benefits include:
- cost savings through the elimination of paper and improvements in personal productivity
- rapid confirmation of payment submission
- reduction in time delay between submission and receipt of reports
- rapid rectification of rejected transactions and other errors
- opportunity to focus on reports by exception
- easy report retrieval, notification, distribution and archiving
- improved traceability, audit, reporting and compliance procedures through improved reporting and archiving routines
- scope for extensive automation and workflow integration