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Submitting payment requests to the bank

Chris Hooper
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Last editedJune 20242 min read

To collect BECS Direct Debit payments, payment requests must be submitted through BECS via your bank. This guide explains how to submit payment requests.

The submission process

Payment requests are submitted to BECS by uploading a file - as an originator you will need to upload this file to your bank who will process it and then send their own file to the BECS framework. The contents of the file depends on the submission, but the process is always the same:

  • A file is created with the required structure, the details of which are provided below.

  • The file is uploaded via a secure network, which helps ensure the security of the BECS framework.

  • Once successfully submitted, the contents of the file are processed.

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Each file will contain at least three records:

  • Descriptive Record (Record Type 0) - This contains identifying information of the Debit User, the User’s bank, description of the entries in the file and the date for processing.

  • Detail Record (Record Type 1) - Each Detail Record contains one Direct Debit payment instruction. This contains information on the Customer account to be debited: BSB number, account number, account name, lodgement reference and the amount to be debited. The record also includes a trace record, which refers to the Debit User’s account and is where a debit item will be returned if it cannot be paid. There also needs to be a transaction code (which for Direct Debit payments is 13).

  • File Total Record (Record Type 7) - This is effectively a summary of the information provided in the Detail Records. It contains the BSB number of the Debit User’s bank, the total Debits, the total Credits, total number of items in the file and net Total amount of the file.

The returned items file

For unpaid debits, the customer’s bank will send through a Returned Items File. Each Returned Items File will contain:

  • Descriptive Record (Record Type 0) - Again, this contains identifying information of the bank returning the items, a description of the entries in the file and the date for processing.

  • Detail Record (Record Type 2) - Each returned item will have a detail record with the account details and the return reason. A list of return codes is provided below.

  • File Total Record (Record Type 7) - A summary of the Detail Records showing the respective totals of the items in the detail record.

Return Code Return Reason
001 Invalid BSB Number
002 Payment Stopped
003 Account Closed
004 Customer Deceased
005 No account or incorrect account number
006 Refer to customer
008 Invalid User ID Number
009 Technically invalid

Notice of Variation of Account Details

If a customer switches accounts, notification of the new account details may be sent to you through from the customer’s bank to your sponsor bank in the form of a Notice of Variation of Account Details. Your bank will forward the notice to you, and you’re responsible for updating the customer’s account details.

Submitting to BECS through GoCardless

GoCardless provides a simple but powerful user interface for creating Direct Debit requests and payment requests. We then create and submit all messages to BECS via our bank for you. GoCardless also receives, interprets and actions all messages from BECS on your behalf. Where necessary, we notify you immediately and work with you and your customers to resolve any issues.


Customers must be notified at least 14 days in advance of any change to the original Direct Debit request.

Transferring your Direct Debit requests to GoCardless

If you want to transfer your existing Direct Debit requests to GoCardless, we’ll be able to help you through the process free of charge.

GoCardless can migrate existing requests for you, with just your existing request data and your schedule of future collections. You’ll need to let your customers know, but they won’t need to take any action.

Find out more about collecting Direct Debits or to register your interest with GoCardless.

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