Setting up a Direct Debit

You fill in a Direct Debit Instruction directly with the company that you are paying for goods or services. That can be over the phone, online, or in writing. The organisation sends your Instruction – sometimes called a mandate - to your bank or building society, so they know you have authorised payments to be collected from your account to them.

The billing organisation will ask you for:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of your bank or building society
  • Your bank or building society account number
  • The branch sort code of your bank or building society (see your debit card or banking app)
  • The name(s) on the account.

You’ll receive written confirmation of your Direct Debit Instruction within three working days of the telephone call or online sign up , or no fewer than 10 working days before the first collection. You should check the details and contact the organisation you're paying if you have a query.

Regardless of how you sign up, whether that’s online, over the phone, or by post, your Direct Debit payments are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Direct Debit has strict rules, which say the organisation you are paying is responsible for checking all the information contained on your Direct Debit Instruction, and that they have sufficient identification. If your bank or building society thinks there’s something wrong, they can request a copy of the Direct Debit Instruction from the organisation.

Most current accounts at banks and building societies can be used to make Direct Debit payments. Some special deposit accounts also allow Direct Debits – just ask whoever you bank with.

No, Direct Debits can only be set up from a UK bank account.