Important changes to Bacs reports downloaded in XML

24 November 2017

As a result of an industry-driven technical upgrade, all Bacs processing reports will shortly be generated by a new server.

The new server generates XML files in line with current standards which means the existing ‘old’ standards of generating XML files will become obsolete and the way these reports may interface with your software could change.

Potential impact

If you download reports in XHTML format you do not need to take any further action, as only XML formats will change.

If you download the XML version of reports then it is vital you check your systems can handle these current XML standards.

What will change?

The XML reports generated by the new server will be populated with “self-closing tags” in place of separate “open” and “close” tags for empty fields that appear in the reports currently produced. “Self-closing” tags are an integral part of the new standard and therefore customers using up-to-date software to interpret XML will not be impacted by this change.

However, customers using older interfaces may be unable to use / read “self-closing” tags if they are translating the XML messages.

When will the change occur?

Bacs will begin migrating reports from the current server to the new server from mid-February, with the view to having all reports migrated by mid-March 2018.

Bacs will provide a schedule of the dates each report will migrate in mid-January 2018.

What can you, or your IT team, do to assess the impact?

Bacs has uploaded sample reports on the Payment Services Website which incorporate self-closing tags. It is imperative if you use the XML reports that you take time to download these reports and ensure your system can effectively handle XML reports that utilise self-closing tags. To download the sample reports, go to the Payment Services Website, click on ‘Processing reports’ under the Menu (depending how many service users you are linked to you may have to enter a Service User Number). Then under the ‘Report Type’ select ‘Generic Test Report’ and ‘Messaging Test Report’. Once selected click ‘Find’. You will then be given an option to download in XML.

If you receive your reports through your software solution please speak to your provider to access the sample reports.

Need more support?

If you only download XHTML reports, you will not be affected by this change.

If you receive these reports automatically through your solution supplier software then Bacs advise you to contact your software supplier.

If you use a bureau and your bureau downloads your reports on your behalf then please speak to your bureau.

If you download XML reports from the Payment Services Website or you do further processing of the reports after receiving them from your solution supplier product, then please speak to your relevant IT support team.

If you need further support then contact the Bacs Service Desk on 0370 165 0018 or email service.desk@bacsservices.co.uk

Are your XML downloads compatible? Bacs has a helpful checklist to ensure they are.