NHSBSA on consolidating the number of suppliers for payment services

The challenges

The NHSBSA was looking to consolidate the number of suppliers it utilises for payment services. Combined across all payment channels, its collects more than £640 million per annum, providing a range of critical central services to NHS organisations, NHS contractors, patients and the public. As part of this project, its existing contract for a direct debit service for PPCs was expiring at the end of 2016, and it required a new provider to carry out the service from 2017, which would include the migration of nearly 700,000 direct debit instructions, generating approximately 7 million transactions per annum. Following a procurement exercise, allpay was appointed through the national OJEU-compliant procurement framework, Consortium Procurement – available to call off by public sector bodies – providing access to a range of electronic payment solutions across cash, debit/credit card and direct debit services.

The Solution

allpay’s project team engaged with NHSBSA teams in October to scope out its requirements in detail, which were then mapped against allpay’s solution. A migration timeline was produced that allowed for data cleansing, migration testing and training for call centre staff ahead of the go-live weekend in February 2017. The proposed solution allowed NHSBSA to utilise allpay’s RESTful APIs, providing a direct link into its CRM system to provide an integrated solution when creating new direct debit mandates. NHSBSA staff would then manage any amendments and provide customer support utilising allpay’s cloud-based Direct Debit Portal, providing visibility on future and historic payment schedules and failed payments. The solution would allow NHSBSA’s 300 call centre staff to set-up, amend and cancel schedules, with allpay automating the submission to Bacs and allowing NHSBSA to access payment information files on collections, set-ups and failures the following morning. As part of the solution, allpay also provides an automated re-attempt on failed collections five working days after the original payment failure. A later requirement was added to the project scope for allpay to produce and despatch the correspondence letters confirming setup, amend and cancellations to the customer. As allpay offers this service as part of its fully managed solution it was able to deliver this within the NHSBSA’s go-live date, producing nearly 100,000 customer letters a month.

The Benefits

The NHSBSA has gone through a few direct debit implementations in the last five years and this migration has been the smoothest one – we have been really pleased with it; on the whole it’s been like a dream. We developed a really good working relationship with the project team from allpay with weekly calls scheduled – any queries were dealt with quickly and they were very flexible with our requirements. Their commitment to understand the requirements and work with us and our previous supplier in the early part of the project paid dividends as there were very few issues following the live migration. allpay’s onsite presence over the go-live dates was also really appreciated, giving staff the confidence that if they had any issues it would be dealt with there and then


The system is very user-friendly and easy to use – and has given the call centre staff much more confidence in supporting customers when setting up, amending or cancelling a schedule. Previously senior staff were faced with between 350-400 payment-related queries on a daily basis e.g. change of bank details, amendment of schedules. This has reduced by 90%, as the call centre team are now able, and feel more confident, to support and carry out customer requests better utilising the allpay solution. “In particular, we were very appreciative that the letter production was delivered within the original timescales, having been a later requirement from NHSBSA. allpay’s flexibility to incorporate this into the solution allowed us to achieve our go-live date and avoid any extension penalties from our previous supplier.