Frequently asked questions

Paid with GoCardless? Read our FAQ for customers

Direct Debit

What is customer protection?

Due to the pull-based nature of Direct Debit, protection is offered to safeguard customers using this payment method. Any customer paying a business via Direct Debit are protected by rejections, reversals and claims if they believe the payment has been collected mistakenly.

Both banks (the customer’s bank and your bank) must judge whether their request for a refund is a valid claim by providing sufficient evidence.

Do I need a PBS number or permission from my bank?

There is no need to talk to your bank or to Nets. We provide you with everything you need to sign up online and start taking payments.

What kind of payments is it good for?

They are particularly good for:

  • Regular payments (e.g., subscriptions or regular donations)
  • Customers with an ongoing relationship (e.g., account customers)

What kind of payments isn’t it good for?

  • Transactions which need an instant clearing (e.g., e-commerce)
  • High-value, one-off payments for liquid goods (e.g., gold bullion)

What are the payment timings for Direct Debit?

What are the payment timings for Direct Debit? Unlike card payments, Direct Debits don’t clear instantly. Payments must be created within GoCardless 9 working days before the end of the month preceding the month you'd like to collect the payment if they're a new customer. If you already have already collected from this customer before, it's only 8 working days. Once the payment is collected from your customer, it takes 4 working days for you to receiev your funds.

Once GoCardless has collected payment from your customer we hold the money in case of payment failures for two working days before it arrives in your bank account.

Can I collect one-off payments using Direct Debit?

Yes - although Direct Debit is most well-known for recurring payments, it can also be used to collect one-off payments.

Can I easily change Direct Debit provider?

Yes - the Direct Debit bulk change process allows you to move Direct Debits between providers easily.

GoCardless has experience managing the entire transfer process for hundreds of large merchants. Your existing customers won’t need to take any action whatsoever, and we offer this service free of charge.


GoCardless Ltd., Sutton Yard, 65 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7EN, United Kingdom

GoCardless is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom as an Authorised Payment Institution to collect payments across Europe.