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Make paying bills easier

Just use Direct Debits, Standing Orders or Recurring Transactions

Using regular payments to pay bills like your mobile phone or gas bill can save you time and money. Here’s all you need to know to set up and manage regular payments.

Direct Debits and Standing Orders are safe, convenient ways to make regular payments. Once they’re set up they happen automatically. But what’s the difference between a Standing Order, a Direct Debit and a Recurring Transaction? It really depends on what you are looking to pay.

Direct Debit

A Direct Debit is an agreement between you and the organisation you’re paying, which allows them to take money out of your account at regular intervals. The organisation will set this up and can alter the amount paid (but only after they’ve informed you). This is why Direct Debits can be ideal for paying things like utility bills to gas or electric companies or credit card bills that can vary from month to month.

Standing Order

A Standing Order is also an automatic regular payment but the amount is fixed. You set it up and only you can change it – for example, to change the amount or payment date. Rent or mortgage payments are often paid by standing order. You can also set up a standing order to your savings account if you want to save regularly.

Recurring Transactions and how to cancel them

What is a Recurring Transaction?

A Recurring Transaction is when you give your Debit or Credit card details to a company and authorise a series of payments to be taken from your account. These payments can be for regular or irregular amounts and frequencies and do not require the customer to provide any further consent at the time of authorisation. Examples of recurring transaction could include a gym membership or a magazine subscription.

A recurring transaction is different to a Direct Debit and has a different cancellation process.

How to cancel a Recurring Transaction

It is advantageous to inform the merchant you are cancelling the recurring transaction but not necessary. Please call the Retailer Disputes/Chargebacks team who will process the cancellation.

The Retailer Disputes/Chargebacks team are available from 08.00 - 18.00 Monday – Friday and are contactable on the number below.

Debit Cards 0800 904 7013
Minicom customers call 0800 917 0526

Calls may be recorded.

Please have details about the recurring transaction available - for example the merchant name, amount, date due and any policy/reference number.

If you have not, at any time, given authority for a payee to take recurring payments, however, recurring transactions are taking place please contact the Retailer Disputes team on the number above.

Direct Debits and Standing Orders make paying bills easier. Here are some of the reasons why:


Some companies offer a discount for monthly Direct Debit payments. EDF Energy, for example, gives you a 6% discount. (Source: 18 April 2011). Check with the company.


Direct Debits and Standing Orders are simple, safe and speedy ways to make a payment. They save you having to remember when a bill is due, and the time and trouble of calling into a bank or finding stamps and post boxes.

Choice of payment date

You can usually pick a date that suits you best. Many people like to make sure their payments go out after they’ve been paid.

Direct Debit Guarantee

Organisations using the Direct Debit Scheme go through a careful vetting process before they're authorised, and are closely monitored by the banking industry. You can feel confident using direct debits because you get additional protection. If a mistake is made by the company or by us, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund.

How to set up a Standing Order

Setting up Standing Orders is easy.

Standing Orders can be set up through Online banking, Direct banking or in person at your local branch. Information you will need to provide includes:

  • Your account number and sort code
  • The frequency of the payment and the amount
  • When the payments should start
  • The name and account details of where you are sending the money to

When setting up a new Standing Order, please allow for two working days prior to the due payment date for your instruction to be completed.

To set up a standing order online please follow the below guidelines:

  1. Log into Online banking and click on “Payments and transfers” in the top left hand side of the screen.
  2. Under “Standing Orders (Regular Payments from your Bank Account)” click on create a new Standing Order and follow instructions provided. You will need to use a Card Reader set up the Standing Order.
  3. Once the Standing Order has been set up you will be able to view details under View, amend or cancel an existing Standing Order.

How to cancel or amend a Standing Order

Cancelling regular payments you no longer need or making an amendment is easy. Simply follow these steps.

  1. Check that it's more than two working days until the payment due date
  2. Log into online banking, select "Payments and transfers" and then select "Manage standing orders" from the regular payments section.
  3. Highlight the standing order you want to manage from the list displayed, select "Cancel" or "Amend" and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively you can manage a Standing Order via telephone banking, or in person at the branch
  4. You will receive confirmation that the standing order is cancelled or amended.

How to set up a Direct Debit

To set up a Direct Debit, simply contact the organisation you’re paying and give them your bank account details. The organisation will then set up the Direct Debit for you.

How to cancel a Direct Debit

Cancelling regular payments you no longer need is easy. Simply follow these steps.

  1. Check that it’s more than one working day until the payment due date
  2. Contact the company you are paying to let them know that you want to cancel. This will stop them requesting the payment.
  3. Log into online banking, select “Payments”, and then select “View or cancel existing direct debits” to confirm that you want to cancel the direct debit. This means that if the company still requested the direct debit payment, we would not pay it. Alternatively you can contact us via telephone banking or in person at the branch to confirm that you have cancelled the direct debit with the company.
  4. We will give you confirmation that the Direct Debit is cancelled when you do this via online banking, in person at a branch, or via telephone banking.
  5. In the unlikely event that your Direct Debit is paid in error you will receive a full refund from us on the same day (requests after 4.30pm will be refunded the following morning)

View all your Direct Debits and Standing Orders at a glance

If you’re registered for Online banking you can manage your Direct Debits and Standing Orders, view them together with the dates each were last paid, amend your Standing Orders and cancel any Direct Debit or Standing Order.

If you’re not registered for Online banking yet sign up now and you could be banking online in minutes.

Reviewing your regular payments may show payments that you no longer need or had forgotten about. You could save money by cancelling these payments in a couple of easy steps, once you are sure these payments are no longer necessary.