U.K. challenger bank Metro Bank has joined the Pay.UK-operated Bacs and partnered with Boston payments firm Bottomline Technologies to enable direct debits for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Metro announced on Wednesday (Feb. 5).
Metro Bank’s new Direct Debit service for SMBs will be introduced in the coming months, enabling its business clients to automatically create, collect and manage payments. Direct debit is widely considered to be among the most secure and cost-effective ways to handle payments and most minor SMBs don’t have access to it.
“We’re seeing real transformation in the payments industry and this needs to benefit smaller SMEs too,” said Metro Bank Chief Commercial Officer Paul Riseborough. “By removing the complexity of regular payments we can save customers vital time, that can better be spent running and growing their businesses.”
He added that Metro Bank’s alignment with Bacs and partnership with Bottomline Technologies will bring “a best-in-class solution” to SMBs via direct debit.
“Enabling a vibrant UK economy is central to everything we do at Pay.UK, and increasing participation and involvement in payments, while maintaining robustness and resilience, is a key driver in achieving this,” said Matthew Hunt, COO of Pay.UK.
Metro Bank partnered last year with Personetics, RMS Group Services, Funding Options, Conance and DueDil as part of its pledge to work with U.K. SMBs and FinTechs.
Bottomline Technologies Managing Director, Europe Nigel Savory said the firm’s partnership with Metro Bank introduces “Direct Debit capabilities” to SMBs that have “traditionally found it challenging” to get access.
Savory added that “Metro Bank business customers will soon have access in a simple and secure way.”
Unlike the U.S., the U.K. rarely uses paper paychecks and instead taps direct deposit via the nation’s Bacs payment service.