FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Forum of Private Business, a champion for Prompt Payment, has welcomed the delay in introducing the certification scheme SHA-256-SSL until 19th September when it became clear that a small number of businesses had not updated their software packages.

The certification scheme was due to be introduced on Monday 13th June but Bacs research has indicated that some businesses had not acted on the advice that they had been given.

Those without this certification would have found it hard to pay suppliers and staff electronically which could have caused severe reputational damage, cashflow issues and staff morale.

According to Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum, “The change is needed as SHA-1, its predecessor, does not take account of the increased sophistication of software and hardware, meaning businesses needed an improved payments platform for their day to day business. New cyber threats are dealt with more effectively through the upgraded system.

Bacs is right to delay the introduction of the scheme until full certification is in place. Without this we could see an increase in late payment and additional cashflow issues."

“We would urge businesses to spend a few minutes just checking they are compliant by contacting their software solutions provider. Paying staff and key suppliers on time shows that a company is well run and gives customers the confidence to work with it. There is good evidence of improved productivity and innovation if such people are paid on time.”

The Forum has worked closely with Bacs to highlight this issue to business owners and would encourage members and other small firms to check that their customers are also compliant.

“As well as working with Bacs to produce a leaflet on the subject, the Forum has also communicated the change to its members through emails and blogs. We are concerned that their customers appear not to be as well prepared” stated Ian Cass.

Bacs' Mike Hutchinson said: "This is the last chance for businesses to become compliant - if they don't make the necessary upgrades by the new deadline, they won't be able to use Bacs to pay staff or their suppliers; they'll have to make other arrangements."

Any business yet to make the necessary changes should contact their software solutions provider who will be able to help them in becoming compatible with the new security measures. Further information is provided on the Bacs/Forumleaflet.

Members can access the latest Forum blog at:
https://www.fpb.org/business-support/Bacs-payements-changing

A copy of the joint leaflet on SHA-256-SSL can be found at:
https://www.bacs.co.uk/services/bacsschemes/operatingtheschemesbusinesses/pages/sha-2.aspx

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.