Last editedOct 20234 min read
At a glance:
Direct debit is a way for companies to take automatic payments from customers. It makes it easier for customers to pay bills because they don't have to remember when to pay. The company can automatically debit the money directly from the customer's bank account.
There are many companies that help set up direct debit, like GoCardless, SecurePay, Stripe, and PaySmart. Choosing a good company to handle direct debit payments means the customer and company don't have to worry about late or missed payments. The company gets paid on time, and the customer doesn't have to remember to pay bills.
There are a host of advantages to accepting direct debits, including a lower likelihood of missed payments. Once a customer has set up a direct debit, you can forget about being paid late since customers can no longer forget to make a payment, so you’ll no longer have to spend time chasing up unpaid, late, or incorrect invoices.
Direct debit providers in Australia
Direct debit can be used for all kinds of regular and recurring payments, including subscriptions and instalments. They are taken directly from a bank account and used by well-known organisations – from Spotify and Netflix to Apple and Microsoft. Customers have seen direct debit as a convenient way to pay without having to make and verify payments every month manually.
Direct debit systems vary according to country. In Australia, direct debits are processed though BECS direct debit (Bulk Electronic Clearing System).
Direct debit in Australia
In Australia, the term 'direct debit' is sometimes used more loosely to refer to any recurring payment, regardless of whether it is paid from a bank account or a credit card. Recurring payments made from credit cards are officially known as 'recurring card payments' or 'continuous payment authorities' (CPAs). However, some businesses may also use the term 'direct debit' to refer to these types of payments. This can be confusing for consumers, so it is important to clarify with the business how the payment will be processed before setting up a recurring payment. Here are some additional things to keep in mind about direct debits and recurring card payments in Australia:
Direct debits are processed through the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS), a government-owned system used to process large volumes of electronic payments.
Recurring card payments are processed through credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express) and as such are more expensive for businesses.
Direct debits can be set up for a fixed or variable amount. Recurring card payments are usually set up for a fixed amount.
Direct debits can be collected on a regular basis, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Recurring card payments are usually only processed monthly.
Direct debits reduce failed payments and manual finance admin because bank accounts unlike cards do not expire, get cancelled or become lost.
This article will focus on BECS direct debit for businesses, which is debited directly from your customers' bank accounts.
How to choose the best direct debit providers in Australia
There are plenty of direct debit providers in Australia to choose from, so you’ll need to do your homework to pin down the right one for you. However, there are some features to look out for:
Flexibility to update customer details and preferences whenever you want.
Great service and support with a simple-to-use dashboard.
Integrates with your other preferred software.
A provider who understands your business needs.
Best direct debit service providers in Australia
GoCardless is one of the leading direct debit providers in Australia, enabling your business to take recurring or one-off payments with significantly lower tansaction fees compared to cards. You can take payments directly on your website or by sending customers a secure link by text or email via GoCardless.
As a merchant, you can manage payments via a user-friendly dashboard using your billing software or create your own integration. It’s worth noting that GoCardless has an advantage over other Australian Direct debit bureaus in the sense that customers are able to collect bank payments from multiple countries, including the UK, the USA and the whole of the EU, as well as just in Australia.
Setting up a direct debit takes just a few minutes, and customers are notified via email when a payment is before taken or at the commencement of a subscription, but crucially they do not have to take any action as the payment collection is automated. This means that you always get paid oin the due dates you set.
Customers’ payments are always protected in the event a payment is taken mistakenly. Once a customer completes the direct debit request, recurring or one-off payments can be taken automatically, bank to bank, without expensive card networks.
How to collect Direct Debit payments with GoCardless
Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).
Easily set up & schedule Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.
From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.
SecurePay offers a direct debit payment system that allows customers to make scheduled payments. The online payment gateway charges customers a per transaction fee and there’s no annual fee or setup fee, and customers can enjoy fraud protection at no additional cost. SecurePay also integrates with Alipay and WeChat Pay and has a standard chargeback fee.
Stripe customers in Australia can accept Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS) direct debit payments. Stripe automatically sends emails to customers to notify them when a mandate is established and when you’re debiting their account. You can also send customised notifications.
PaySmart is Australia and New Zealand’s leading gym payment membership system that ensures gym owners get paid by setting up a direct debit solution. PaySmart provides customers with support and advice to set up their payment system and grow their business.
Finding the right direct debit provider for your business
When you’re running a business one of the most important things is to get paid on time. Using the best direct debit providers provides an ideal way of setting up recurring payments, but make sure you choose a direct debit provider with all the features you require.
BECS direct debit provides many benefits for businesses, such as ensuring customers don't miss payments and reducing time spent chasing unpaid invoices.
Direct debit can be used for all types of regular payments, including subscriptions and installments.
When choosing a direct debit provider in Australia, look for flexibility, great service, integration with other software, and alignment with your business needs.
GoCardless is a leading direct debit provider with easy set-up, customer notifications, and protection against mistaken payments.
Other top direct debit providers in Australia include SecurePay, Stripe, and PaySmart.
The right direct debit provider takes the hassle out of collecting payments, so your business gets paid on time, and customers don't have to remember to pay bills.
Loopit provides a platform for car subscriptions, allowing dealerships, manufacturers, and rental companies to offer subscription models.
Moving customers from card payments to BECS direct debit with GoCardless reduced fraud risk and improved payment success rates from 80% to over 90%.
Direct integration between GoCardless and Zuora billing software cut down payment admin.
Enhanced Customer Success programme gave Loopit dedicated support for global expansion plans.
GoCardless is a global partner that will support Loopit's growth into the UK and Europe after raising $3.6 million in funding.
Upcoming PayTo open banking solution will enable real-time direct bank payments.
We can help: The Leading Direct Debit Provider in Australia
GoCardless makes setting up and managing BECS direct debit in Australia easy. With GoCardless, you can automate payment collection to ensure you get paid on time without chasing invoices. Customers complete a simple online mandate so you can collect recurring or one-off payments directly from their bank account. Our user-friendly dashboard lets you easily manage payments, customers, and notifications. GoCardless integrates seamlessly with over 300 partners including Xero and Quickbooks.
With bank-to-bank payments and no expensive card fees, GoCardless provides a cost-effective solution. See how we can help your business collect more payments, spend less time on admin and get paid on time. Sign-up takes just minutes, and no contracts or long-term commitments are required.