Why Faster Payments aren’t always so fast

10 September 2020

Written by Jake Jack


Back in January, Tally completed a huge upgrade, providing all its customers with a personal sort code and account number, as well as integrating with the Faster Payments network. Before this, depositing was a slower, less seamless process for the customer and was limited to business hours only due to the manual process involved. It also relied on the ‘Tally ID’ of the user being entered in the reference code, which allowed the funds to be processed into the correct account. This meant any errors resulted in potential delays on deposits, and was more complicated and arduous for the customer. The solution to this was to connect to the faster payments network.

But what does ‘faster payments’ mean? Faster Payments are a form of electronic fund transfer for account to account payments in the UK, introduced back in 2018. One of its key advantages over other transfer methods is that - as the name suggests - it is faster, a lot faster. The network allows the transfer of funds almost immediately between any eligible account, and has very quickly become an essential feature of any traditional or challenger banking account.

While not all payments will arrive instantly, the vast majority are processed within 2 hours. It facilitates payments of up to £250,000 and is available 24/7, unrestricted by business hours, weekends or bank holidays. It also facilitates standing orders, but does not handle direct debit or credit payments. It is also a UK only payment network, and cannot process overseas payments. During the month of April, Faster Payments processed 201.2 Million payments, worth a total of £142 billion!

There are, however, a couple of reasons why a faster payment into your Tally account may not be so fast - despite what the name suggests. The first is to do with the nature of Tally and the Faster Payment Network. This method of payment, however, was designed solely with traditional fiat currencies in mind. This means that every Tally customer has a GBP banking account which connects it to the traditional banking system, as well as the account which holds their Tally. Both are connected, but when a deposit is made, it first has to be converted into Tally. Normally this procedure happens within 2 minutes of the faster payment arriving, but as 1 Tally is 1 milligram of gold owned by the customer, held in a vault in Switzerland, a single large deposit, or an increased volume of deposits may result in a delay in your deposit.

In order for Tally to be deposited in your account, we must first purchase the gold via our LBMA accredited broker, and then allocate the gold (essentially verified as being physically purchased and moved in the vault) to Tally, which can take anywhere from a few hours up to 1 working day. In order to mitigate this we do maintain reserves of Tally (gold), but in the case of a very large deposit, or a dramatic increase in the number of deposits made, you may experience a delay whilst we go through the required steps to acquire your physical asset. The only way to completely guarantee this wouldn’t happen would be to issue Tally without corresponding gold in the vault, which is completely against everything we as a company stand for.

Secondly, as with all banks and banking account providers, Tally conducts security checks on all transactions, and if there is a need for a manual review, or further information from a customer, the payment will not be instant. Not only does this ensure compliance with the relevant legislation and regulations regarding fraud prevention, anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, but also protects our customers from fraud or suspicious activity. If your transaction is flagged, then your deposit may take slightly longer to be processed, as it's manually reviewed or you are contacted for a little bit more information.

While the introduction of faster payments to your Tally account has resulted in a great improvement in the customer experience, it's not perfect, and can occasionally result in an error. If you have experienced an issue with a faster payment coming in or leaving your Tally account, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected], and our support team will get this resolved for you as soon as possible.