Frequently asked questions

Paid with GoCardless? Read our FAQ for customers


Got a question? Call our support team on +44 20 8338 9537
help@gocardless.com

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 may submit a claim for a refund in the rare event that they believe the payment has been collected mistakenly. This is called a customer claim.

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. If a disputed claim cannot be resolved between the two banks, it may be referred to the BECS management committee.

Do I need a User ID or permission from my bank?

There is no need to talk to your bank. 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)
  • Invoicing for services (e.g., accountancy, tax advice, etc.)

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)
  • Transactions likely to experience chargebacks (e.g., gambling)

What are the payment timings for Direct Debit?

Unlike card payments, Direct Debits don’t clear instantly. It can take up to 7 days to set up each new payer if they are completing a Direct Debit Request over the phone, and up to four working days to collect from payers who you currently have a Direct Debit relationship with.

Once GoCardless has collected payment from your customer we hold the money in case of payment failures for two working days (three if based outside of Australia) 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.