Suits Me® Simplified: Banking 101

How Long does a Bank Transfers Take?

In this blog post, we discuss how long different payment transfers can take

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It’s fair to say the electronic and digital technology has revolutionised the way we do banking. Money can now be sent around the world at the touch of a button and with technology rapidly evolving all the time, it makes bank transfers a lot easier.

However, while sending money electronically may seem like a simple and straightforward process, there is a lot going on that we don’t see. Of course, understanding that isn’t really all that important to execute a bank transfer, but the main question many of us might ask is ‘how long will it take?’  

One may categorize the answer to that question under the ‘how long’s a piece of string?’ category because different forms of payment transfer can take varying lengths of time to complete.

For a start, it’s worth look at some of the different types of payments transfer out there and which we may use, even unknowingly, on a regular basis.


Bacs stands for Bankers Automated Clearing Services and is a form of payment transfer which happens between banks. All of the major UK banks are part of the Bacs Payments Scheme, which processes and manages payment transfers.

There are two main forms of Bacs payments. The one most people are familiar with is Direct Debit. This is when you give a company – or more accurately a bank account held by a company – permission to take funds from your account on a regular basis. This can be to pay for bills such as utilities, mobile phone or broadband subscriptions.

You instruct your bank to make authorise another bank account to take the money when you fill out a Direct Debit Mandate. Direct Debit Bacs payments usually take up to three days to process. This is the time when you apply for the funds and when they actually leave your bank account.

The other form of Bacs payment, known as Direct Credit, involves paying money into a bank account. Most people in the UK receive their salary this way. It is also widely used for paying pensions and benefits. After the initial funds transfer, a Bacs Direct Credit payment typically takes around three days to appear in your account.


Chaps stands for Clearing House Automated Payment System and provides a faster option than Bacs payments. People can make and receive CHAPS payments on the same day, and they typically reserve them for large sums of money.

Many businesses use this method to transfer money quickly but it is also an effective option for individuals who need to make a payment by a certain deadline. You might use it, for example, to put down a deposit for a new house.

Faster Payments

As the name suggests, Faster Payments are just that. They are also a same-day payment option like Chaps. However, funds will only be transferred on the same day using Chaps if payment is made by a certain time. Faster payments can be almost instantaneous. They can be used to send money to another bank account at any time of day or night.

Thanks to the Faster Payments System (FPS), amounts of up to £250,000 can be paid. However, the Suits Me limit is £5,000 effective 24th May 2022. Most Faster Payments take only a few minutes, but some can take up to two hours to go through.

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