How to send Direct Debit notifications

Learn how to design and send compliant UK Direct Debit notifications.


The UK Direct Debit scheme has strict requirements for sending notifications to customers. For you as a merchant, it’s important to understand exactly what kind of notifications you need to send, and how to handle them. Our guide will walk you through the process, helping you design fully compliant customer notifications which your sponsor bank can sign off quickly.

Direct Debit notifications fall into two categories, which can be sent together:

  • Mandate setup confirmation
  • Payment notifications (also known as ‘advance notice’)

Mandate setup confirmation

A mandate setup confirmation tells your customer that their Direct Debit mandate has been set up correctly. You must send it within 3 working days of the customer signing up or incorporate it into the customer's first payment notification. You can send the mandate setup confirmation by email or post.

To be compliant, a mandate confirmation must include the following information:

  • The heading “Important: Confirmation of the setup of your Direct Debit to [Merchant]”, alongside a Direct Debit logo
  • The payer's redacted bank details, the mandate reference and the name on the SUN
  • The Direct Debit Guarantee, with a Direct Debit logo, or a link to it
  • The address and phone number of the merchant

The below image shows an example mandate setup confirmation email, which includes all of the above details:

Confirmation email

If you're using GoCardless, also include the phrase "Payments by GoCardless" as part of the notification.

Payment notifications

A payment notification tells your customer when they can expect a single payment or stream of regular payments to leave their account. Just like mandate confirmations, payment notifications are mandatory in UK Direct Debit. You can send them by email or post.

To be compliant, a payment notification must include the following information:

  • How much notice will be given for future payments (if this is the first notification)
  • The amount, reference and date of the collection(s)
  • The address and phone number of the merchant

The below image shows an example payment notification email, which includes all of the above details:

Confirmation email

For subscription payments, where the frequency and amount remain the same, you can send a single payment notification email to cover the entire subscription. Here’s an example:

Confirmation email

Customer notifications and GoCardless

GoCardless offers fully compliant emails that can be sent on your behalf. Alternatively, if you want to send your own emails, you can do this using GoCardless Pro with our API. Or if you are a partner, you can send specific customer notifications.

Find out more about collecting Direct Debit payments with GoCardless

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