The stand-off between Paynet and banks is quite confusing for most people because up until banks were cut-off and some no longer had access to their salaries and pensions, most didn’t even know about the existence of a Paynet.
One of the most pressing questions you probably have (and I did too) was, what exactly does this stand-off affect. I reached out to a number of people working in the banking sector and the conversations we had left me with better understanding of this crisis.
The key question I had was, how does this affect banks and do they have any alternatives? One of the sources did a pretty good job explaining in layman’s terms and informed me that Paynet was used to make bulk payments (mostly salaries). This means I can create a file with all account numbers and amounts for my employees for each bank and it would process the deposits. Without Paynet, bulk payments have to be processed alternatively.
So what are the alternatives? Well, that’s not so simple either. I got an explanation that Paynet’s greatest advantage was that it was universal and it had a standard all banks recognised. What this means is that right now there is no alternative, just workarounds and as you guess these are probably not as ideal as Paynet. Banks do have bulk payment or batching solutions but there isn’t a universal alternative.
CABS sent an email to their customers addressing the issue. In that email, RTGS transfers of CABS to other banks and internal transfers would continue to be made through the internet banking channel. Internet banking would also make bulk crediting possible.
What became a bit confusing in that email was the bit that said Bulk internal transfers and debit orders would only work using their own DirectInject technology. According to CABS website Direct Inject works as follows:
DirectInject allows for the processing of bulk payments into CABS accounts, Textacash and co-branded closed card accounts with enhanced security and efficiency. Once the DirectInject application is loaded on your computer, payment files can be prepared and must be saved in *.csv format.
Notification will be sent out to you in the event that a file has failed to run.
DirectInject seems to be a CABS specific service which speaks to the universality offered by Paynet. Standard Chartered is also said to be urging their clients to move to their Straight2Bank platform and whilst that offers payroll services the main issue is still simply the fact that universality offered by Paynet is still a far cry from being achieved.