Indirect Access Services

If you're a payment service provider (PSP), we can help you to connect to us and, where appropriate, to connect directly to the UK's central payment system. Here you'll find information on the various ways you can connect to HSBC, how we charge for our indirect access services and what eligibility criteria we apply when offering services to PSPs.

Contact

If you are not already a HSBC customer and wish to enquire about HSBC's Indirect Access Services, in the first instance please contact our Indirect Access Team at: indirect.access@hsbc.com

Please include the name of your organisation, your contact details and a brief description of the type of Indirect Access services you are interested in.

This information will only be used by us in order to provide a response to your specific enquiry.

Alternatively, you call our Indirect Access team on 0207 992 5079/1450

If you are an existing HSBC customer, please contact your Relationship Manager or Client Service Manager to discuss your requirements.


BACS

HSBC is able to sponsor PSPs as Indirect Participants of the BACS clearing system and will allocate a unique UK sort code linked to a dedicated HSBC settlement account (nostro). This sort code and settlement account may also be used in connection with indirect access to other payment systems. This will enable you and your business customers to access the UK's batch-based automated clearing house for both direct credit and direct debit transactions, and thereby benefit from the efficiencies to be gained from scheduled payments activities.

If you are transferring your BACS clearing business to or from HSBC, we can also support the transfer of your existing sort code, making for a smoother transition. To support your BACS payments activities, we will, subject to prior agreement establish credit limits in the BACS system.

If you have business customers who wish to access BACS services directly using approved software, we can also, with prior agreement, co-sponsor these customers and also establish the necessary credit limits. Many PSPs and business customers choose to connect directly into the central BACS clearing platform using approved software. BACS payments are made in a format known as Standard 18 and are submitted in files.

For PSPs not wishing to connect directly to the BACS central platform, transactions may be submitted via HSBC, using SWIFTNet FileAct, the file upload feature of our on-line banking channel, HSBCnet or via our host-to-host connectivity platform, HSBC Connect.

Alongside Standard 18, we can support other formats, such as XML, subject to prior agreement. To aid processing of incoming credit transfers and direct debits, we can supply automated data files of individual BACS transactions and unpaid direct debits via SWIFTNet FileAct, HSBCnet or HSBC Connect.


CHAPS

HSBC is able to sponsor PSPs as Indirect Participants of the CHAPS clearing system and will allocate a unique UK sort code linked to a dedicated HSBC settlement account (nostro). This sort code and settlement account may also be used in connection with indirect access to other payment systems. This will enable you to offer your customers payment solutions that make use of the UK's Real Time Gross Settlement system. If you are transferring your CHAPS payments business to or from HSBC, we can also support the transfer of your existing sort code, making for a smoother transition.

CHAPS payments are made in SWIFTNet MT103 or MT202 format, although we can support other formats, such as XML, subject to prior agreement.
HSBC provides CHAPS payments as single messages using SWIFTNet FIN or HSBC's on-line banking channel, HSBCnet. We can also accept CHAPS instructions in files of transactions via SWIFTNet FileAct, a file upload on HSBCnet or via HSBC's host-to-host connectivity platform, HSBC Connect.

We offer a competitive cut-off time for initiation of payments and will apply all incoming payments to the settlement account up to the daily closure of the CHAPS system.

Advice of receipts, in MT103, 202 or 910 format is delivered in near real time via SWIFTnet FIN and is also available via HSBCnet.


Cheque and credit clearing

HSBC is able to sponsor PSPs as Indirect Participants of the Cheque and Credit clearing system and will allocate a unique UK sort code linked to a dedicated HSBC settlement account (nostro). This sort code and settlement account may also be used in connection with indirect access to other payment systems.This will enable to you to offer your customers cheque books on their account with you and allow them to lodge deposits into their account using the paper-based credit clearing system.

If you are transferring your Cheque and Credit clearing business to or from HSBC, due to the construction of the central clearing and settlement system, it is currently not possible to transfer your existing sort code.

On each banking day, the physical cheques drawn by your customers and the credits recording lodgements to your customers' accounts will be made available to you at a pre-agreed delivery location; this will be on Day 3 of the clearing cycle. It will be your responsibility to decide whether a cheque should be returned unpaid and to follow the industry-wide processes for dealing with returned items.

To aid processing of incoming cheques and giro credits, we can supply automated data files of individual transactions via SWIFTNet FileAct, HSBCnet or HSBC Connect.


Faster Payments

HSBC is able to sponsor PSPs as Indirect Participants of the Faster Payments system and will allocate a unique UK sort code linked to a dedicated HSBC settlement account (nostro). This sort code and settlement account may also be used in connection with indirect access to other payment systems. This will enable you to offer your customers competitive retail payment solutions on a near real-time basis. If you are transferring your Faster Payments business to or from HSBC, we can also support the transfer of your existing sort code, making for a smoother transition.

Most PSPs currently have their Faster Payments transactions routed through HSBC, using what is known as the Indirect Agency model. Faster Payments are completed in ISO8583 format, but for our Indirect Access customers, we can also accept SWIFTNet MT103 format, BACS Standard 18 or ISO20022 XML, subject to prior agreement, with HSBC performing the necessary transformation.

HSBC provides Faster Payments as single messages using SWIFTNet FIN or HSBC's on-line banking channel, HSBCnet. We can also accept Faster Payments instructions in files of transactions via SWIFTNet FileAct, a file upload on HSBCnet or via HSBC's host-to-host connectivity platform, HSBC Connect.

We will supply individual advices or file acknowledgements to confirm completion (or otherwise) of a Faster Payments transaction. Incoming Faster Payments receipts will be advised to you via a single advice delivered in close to real time or via batch files which are available up to 24 times a day.

HSBC's Faster Payments gateway is available for payments and receipts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Note that delivery channels are subject to maintenance windows of several hours during weekends, which will limit access through HSBC's Faster Payments gateway.

For PSPs who wish to connect directly into the central Faster Payments clearing platform using an approved vendor-supplied technical access solution, HSBC also supports what is known as the Direct Agency clearing model.


Additional services

HSBC also offers its Indirect Access customers additional services will can expand the capabilities of their underlying customer offering. These services allow great levels of automation and reconciliation this enhancing the efficiency of the Indirect Access Service:

Branch counter services
We offer your customers the ability to use HSBC branches to deposit cash and/or cheques and withdraw cash by prior arrangement under an agreed Credit Open Facility.

Current Account Switching Service (CASS) and Cash ISA Service (CISA)
We can support your participation of these services by processing the full range of payment types together with access to the industry platforms.

Information services
We can offer an extensive range of automated files, detailing transactions designed to meet your requirements for supporting data. These will be extremely beneficial in respect of batch based payments and all files can be integrated into your back office systems, allowing high levels of automation and reconciliation.

Managed Payment Service
If you are interested in outsourcing aspects of your payments/receipts processing to gain the benefits of enriched services and high automation levels, our Managed Payments Service (MPS) is an innovation solution. This solution combines our Indirect Access services together with a range of hosted, modular and inter-operable applications. MPS allows you to integrate our payment access solution into your own back office systems and workflows.


Fees

We do not levy up-front participation or entry fees in respect of participation in our Indirect Access Services. Our fees are based on the services you use and will be split between file charges and per item charges. The charges you pay will be based on the volume of transactions you use, with individual item prices based on volume bands and will be advised by monthly itemised invoicing. We may charge for project management to cover implementation costs. All ancillary fees (where applicable) will be explained in detail and agreed in relationship to each service provided.


Eligibility criteria

To use HSBC's Indirect Access services, you must satisfy certain criteria.
- You will need to be a customer of the bank: as such, you will need to satisfy our risk-based criteria for customer selection. You will be asked detailed questions about your own and your customers' payments, as well as your wider business activities.
- You must also be registered with or authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority for activities that include provision of payment services or be an EEA-passported Payment Service Provider.
- Where you are using HSBC's own electronic channels for the initiation or receipt of payments, we will also require you to meet certain technical and security standards.

Code of conduct

HSBC is a subscriber to the new voluntary Code of Conduct for Indirect Access Providers.
Further information about the Code and a link to the document itself can be found at www.accesstopaymentsystems.co.uk/code-of-conduct

Find out more

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