This issue has now been resolved.
Yesterday (15th March), we experienced some delays in processing payments to accounts. This issue has now been resolved and you should see payments reach accounts as normal. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience.
Cause of payment delays
Firstly HMRC, who make Child Benefit payments, changed all of the Child Benefit references without telling us in advance. That meant that we had to match each payment back to the person who was due to receive it into their account, and with over 500 payments yesterday morning, that took a long time to do. This meant that payments that would normally have been paid from Child Benefit weren’t ready in time for the lunchtime payment run.
Secondly, we had a problem in producing our payment files in the evening due to a system issue. This meant that we weren’t able to release our afternoon payments until later in the evening, about 8pm. This then meant that all the Child Benefit payments we hadn’t been able to make earlier in the day weren’t paid until even later.
The HMRC change to Child Benefit is a one-off issue, and our team worked through the day yesterday on a system change so that we don’t experience the same problem again with those new references.
Improving how we process payments
We’re working to change how we process payments out to members’ bank accounts. This change won’t be quick, but when it’s in place it will mean that most payments can be made nearly instantly. This means we won’t be as reliant on older systems which are sometimes not as reliable – although it is very unusual that there’s a delay like the one we had yesterday.
We hope to make these changes within 12 months, but there is still quite a bit of work to do, but we keep our members posted regarding these improvements.
We apologise again for the delays you may have experienced yesterday, and for the inconvenience and worry it would have caused you.