Headlines: June 17th, 2008

The Bacs Payment Schemes Limited has launched a Challenge League that draws on the heritage of fantasy football style competitions and is a free-to-use, reality league, based on real data. The League will allow councils to benchmark their performance and compare their achievements against those of similar sized organisations that are also trying to drive up Direct Debit use for the regular payment of Council Tax and Business Rate bills.

Prizes include six awards of 1000 pounds to donate to a chosen charity, plus a certificate of achievement and support to achieve maximum local PR coverage. Awards of 1000 pounds will also be given at the endof the challenge to recognise outstanding achievement and best marketing campaign during the course of the League promotion.

The Direct Debit Challenge League system is open to all authorities in the UK and will run until April 2009. There are no forms to complete. All that is required is for individual councils to visit www.directdebitchallenge.co.uk.

Councils will be able to view their position in one of six sub-divisions which have been created to recognize the different regional challenges that they face. The League will show exactly how Direct Debit volumes in the sector are evolving on a month-by-month basis.