Last editedMay 20222 min read
A Direct Entry User ID is required by organisations collecting Direct Debit payments in Australia. A Direct Debit provider such as GoCardless will handle User Identification Number requirements on your behalf.
This guide explains how Direct Entry User IDs are used when collecting Direct Debit payments through the BECS scheme. You may also want to read our guide on accessing the Direct Debit system.
What is a Direct Entry User ID?
A Direct Entry User ID is a unique six-digit identifying number used by organisations and individuals collecting Direct Debit payments. Issued by financial institutions the Direct Entry User ID is generally referred to as an ‘APCA Number’. GoCardless will provide merchants with a generic APCA ID to use. All communications with BECS will use this ID, which is stored to create a record of the transaction.
If a customer files a Customer Claim against a Direct Debit payment debited from their account the User ID is used to identify the payment originator who must process the claim.
Having your own Direct Entry User ID is a requirement for submitting Direct Debit payment instructions directly to the banks. However, even if you don’t have a Direct Entry User ID, you can still submit indirectly via GoCardless, using our User ID.
Getting a Direct Entry User ID
The Australian Payments Network issues Direct Entry User IDs to organisations sponsored by its members - Australia’s major banks. Banks will have their own different application processes, but all will require the following from the applicant:
Management expertise to enforce the Direct Debit scheme rules, minimise submission errors, and maintain the reputation of the scheme
Financial capacity to indemnify the sponsor bank against any claims from payers against any payments debited from their accounts
Adequate fraud and risk management controls in place
Sponsorship decisions are at the discretion of each bank. In most cases, a Direct Entry User ID will be granted if the above are satisfied, but the bank may impose additional requirements.
Using a Third Party’s Direct Entry User ID
Organisations that don’t have their own Direct Entry User ID can still submit to banks through a third-party Direct Debit provider.
Indirect submissions are still attached to a User Identification Number, but the Direct Entry User ID is owned by a third party.
To become an indirect submitter, you’ll need to use a third party to make submissions on your behalf. The third party must satisfy requirements from both the bank and from BECS.
Direct Entry User IDs and GoCardless
If you use GoCardless, you won't need to go through a bank to access the Direct Debit system. GoCardless satisfies the banking and scheme requirements as part of the service, with no upfront costs, to collect payments by Direct Debit. As payments are collected under a single User Identification Number and a single banking agreement, there are scale benefits that we pass on to merchants.