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Payment processes and options (April 2020) | Staff finance guidance | Birmingham City Council

Payment processes and options (April 2020)

Payments options which are available are most easily explained by the urgency of payment.  BCC will generally look to pay in 28 days (standard), 5 days or immediately.  This paper can be viewed alongside the payments flow diagram to aid explanation.

30-day and 5-day Payments

For the 30 days and 5 days payment requirements, we would follow existing BCC Accounts Payable processes, setting up any new suppliers on our Voyager system, and adjusting the payment terms based on payment requirements to pay via BACS.  This is the preferred process but where we recognise if BCC doesn’t have to pay for goods and services immediately.  These other options are outlined below.

It is important to remember engagement with a new supplier will require additional checks.  We are receiving strong warnings from Banks and the Police about attempts to fraudulently extract payments from councils and other public sector bodies and we need to be mindful of that to ensure we receive the goods and services we are expecting. 

Immediate Pay

Normally we would have 3 options available to us to process payments immediately. 

  1. CHAPS – for payments over £250k in value
  2. Faster Payment – for payments under £250k
  3. Purchasing Card – for lower value payments


CHAPS payments are only available during “banking” working hours, as this process requires an element of bank interaction due to the size of some of the payments made. 

Emergency 'on the day' CHAPS payment requests should not be submitted any later than 4pm on any given day, to allow time to process the payment before the banking system closes.

To ensure sufficient funds are available to make payments, this emergency CHAPS payments deadline still requires as early notification as possible of the value of the anticipated payment.

This should be done by informing the Treasury Team as soon as possible, preferably  one day in advance, or should follow the standard CHAPS request deadline of no later than 12:00pm on the day of payment.

Please use the CHAPS form to request a payment

Immediate Payments

If immediate payments are required this weekend, only Faster Payments and Purchasing Cards are available. 

Faster Payments are straight forward if an existing supplier.

If this is a new supplier, additional checks will be made. 

We are limited to £250k per transaction

Please use the Faster Payments Request form.

Purchasing Cards

There is a separate paper on Purchasing Card on this site. 

Please be aware requests Purchasing Card limit increases are constrained by banking hours so please ensure any increases are requested by 4pm during a normal workday.