I am working on the planning and launch of a charity that was recently established in the UK. I stumbled on to this site when doing some research… it seems like a great resource especially considering my limited knowledge of the UK charity space.
My first of what will probably be many questions is around bank/building society account number formats in the UK. A key function of the new organization is to make grants to other charitable organizations via Electronic Funds Transfer (BACS). In doing some research around this topic, we have come to learn that 8-digit account numbers are required in order to do direct credit via BACS. Further, we have come to learn that, although rare, there exist UK account numbers that are 6,7,9 and 10 digits long — owned by a handful of banks and building societies.
In my conversations with several parties in the UK, I understand that these non 8-digit account numbers are very rare even more so within the charity market. The reasoning being that since charities engage in fundraising, they would likely have account numbers that would allow direct credits or they would know how to apply the business rules necessary to convert a given account number to 8 digits. If this is in fact the case, we can essentially provide charities with an 8-digit field to enter their account number. If not, then we would have to invest the time to either put a solution or process in place to do the conversion of non 8-digit account numbers.
That said I was hoping to get a feel, based on your experiences, regarding how rare these non 8-digit account numbers are. Is it common practice within the charity space to require users to enter 8-digit account numbers?
I would appreciate any input you could provide.
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