Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about direct debits and our services.

What is a Direct Debit?

A Direct Debit is a simple way for organisations to collect regular and occasional payments from an individual’s account. Once a customer has given advanced notice of the amounts and dates of collection, money can be collected automatically.

Once used exclusively by large corporations, new Direct Debit providers like Interbacs allow businesses of all sizes to set up Direct Debits.

What is the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit?

A Standing Order is set up by somebody to a company or person. This amount is solely controlled by the payee, this amount is set and will not change.

A Direct Debit is managed by a company, to be charged to the payee. This amount can change dependant on the payee’s policy with the company, any changes in the price will only be in effect once the payee has been notified of the amendment.

What is Bacs?

Previously known as Bankers Automated Clearing Services, Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd now prefer to be simply known as Bacs.

Bacs the organisation is a payment network owned and operated by the 16 largest UK banks and business societies.

Bacs is responsible for the clearing and settlement of Direct Debits in the UK the company also runs the Bacs Direct Credit Scheme, which is used to pay salaries and invoices. Somewhat confusingly, using the Bacs Direct Credit Scheme is commonly referred to as making a Bacs payment.

What kind of payments is Bacs used for?

Bacs payments are predominantly used for paying employees and suppliers but they are also used for pensions, expense payments, insurance settlements and more.

In recent years, the number of Bacs Direct Debit payments have exploded as more small gyms, golf clubs, insurance companies and others seek to collect payments expediently.

How long does a Bacs payment take to process?

The Bacs cycle is a three-day process. In this time, payment files are submitted and processed with payments debited or credited on the third day.

What time do Bacs payments clear?

Bacs payments usually clear in the morning, between midnight and 7am.

Can Bacs be used internationally?

Bacs is only for UK transfer; international sort codes and account numbers will not work on the Bacs system.

Will Bacs clear on a weekend or bank holiday?

Bacs payments are only processed on working days. They are not processed on Saturdays, Sundays or on bank holidays including Easter Monday, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

What is the difference between the Bureau service and Facilities Management Service?

Large businesses that can obtain a Service User Number (SUN) from a sponsoring bank can access the Bacs Bureau service.

Businesses that cannot obtain their own SUN need to use a facilities management service. In this arrangement, the facilities management provider will take responsibility for collecting payments on behalf of the client.

For more information about direct debits or Interbacs payment services, speak to a member of the team. Call: 0161 667 0758 or email:

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