Showing posts with label Direct debit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Direct debit. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Direct Debits You'll Need to Update When You Change Bank

I recently opened a new current account when I realised that a different bank could offer me a better interest rate as well as other benefits such as travel insurance. I think a lot of people avoid changing their bank account due to the admin that often comes with it though, such as filling in forms, attending appointments and then considering the actual money side of it too. This includes getting an employer to pay your salary to your new current account, as well as figuring out which direct debits are set up to your old account. Some banks will now help you change all of your direct debits, but if you are required to do this yourself, these are the types of services you might need to update...

Charity donations

Many of us have recurring payments for charities scheduled by direct debit each month. Changing bank account is an ideal opportunity to look at the donations you currently have set up, before analysing whether you want to continue giving the same amount. If you are happy with what you’ve previously set up, you should be able to set up a new direct debit schedule from your new account; remember to cancel the existing agreement.

Mobile phone

If you have a mobile phone contract, this is more than likely set up as a direct debit. It’s important you don’t miss this payment as you may incur charges for having a failed payment attempt. Therefore you should call your mobile phone provider if you will not have a new payment schedule in place on time and they should let you make a manual payment instead. Of course, if you’ve timed the expiration of your contact with the opening of your new bank account, you could look at new mobile phone deals online and simply set up a new agreement with the provider.

Satellite TV

Another service you may have is that of satellite TV such as Sky or Virgin Media. If you depend on these services so you can watch sports channels and more, you’ll want to make sure that you remember to update your payment with your provider. Again, make sure that the original agreement has been cancelled so you do not incur any charges with your old bank. You might even want to consider finding a service that doesn’t charge you monthly, such as a freeview box which just requires a one-off cost.

Energy bills

Many of us pay our energy bills through direct debit agreements, so make sure you check how your own bills are currently paid. Think about electricity, gas, water and even your council tax. If there are going to be any problems with making a payment quickly, it is a good idea to call each of your energy and utility suppliers as you can make alternative arrangements for payment. If you are going to call, you could also give them your latest meter readings to make sure that your payments aren’t too low or too high.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Private And Public Sector Organizations Prefer Direct Debit

The rise in popularity of online banking has led many British consumers to abandon traditional payment methods, such as cash or cheque, in favor of automated payment methods, such as direct debit. As a result, many organizations have had to expand the range of payment options they offer.


According to one estimate, over 3.3 billion direct debit payments were processed in 2011, an increase of two-thirds o the number processed ten years earlier. One of the reasons direct debits are becoming widely accepted is their flexibility. 

They are ideal for ach payment processing of the same or varying amounts on the same or varying collection dates. They are also less expensive, in terms of transaction costs, than traditional payment methods, including credit cards. 

They are also immune to the effects of unexpected events, such as postal strikes, which can play havoc with payment methods that rely on paper. Their only real drawback is that they are not suitable for one-off payments.


Public sector organizations are always looking to improve their efficiency as an alternative to making job cuts. As a result, many public sector organizations, including local councils, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and TV Licensing, now offer direct debit as a payment option for Council Tax, business rates, commercial and domestic rent, road tax, and many other recurring payments. In fact, many private and public sector organizations offer discounts to encourage consumers to pay by direct debit.

Direct Debit Guarantee

Direct debits for the public sector ensure both parties that bills are paid on time. If a direct debit payment fails, both the payer and payee find out quickly and can take prompt action to rectify the situation. 

Furthermore, the Direct Debit Guarantee entitles consumers to a full and immediate refund if an error is made in the payment of a direct debit from their bank or building society account, regardless of who actually made the error. 

Direct debits can only be set up for payments to approved payees, who are subject to rigorous quality control procedures and must provide indemnity guarantees through their banks, so unscrupulous organizations cannot take payments that are not due to them.

Direct Debit Versus Standing Order

Over 75% of British consumers already pay their Council Tax by direct debit or standing order. The principal advantage of direct debit, however, is that the payee can make amendments to the payment amount without needing to obtain the payer's signature on each occasion. 

The payee must, however, give advance notice, typically 10 working days, of any change(s) to the payment amount and collection date. If the collection date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the payee must take the payment after the due date unless they give advance notice. 

Most bank and building society accounts, including some special savings accounts, accept direct debit payments. Banks and building societies retain the details for 13 months from the date of the last payment. 

At the end of this period, known as a dormancy period, the payee must obtain the authority of the payer to continue collecting payments.


Peter Smith holds a Master's Degree in business administration and has worked extensively in the public sector during his career. He regularly writes about automated payment methods, including direct debits for the public sector and various business-related websites and blogs.

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