Last editedMay 20223 min read
Unlike credit card payments, Direct Debits are not instant. They take up to 3 days to clear and are pulled directly from customer’s bank accounts. This means that customers themselves don’t have to lift a finger for the payment to go through.
However, whilst direct debits don’t require any intervention from the customer once they’re set up, knowing the exact date of when to expect the payment to come out of your account is important information.
Given that fixed Direct Debit payments will eventually fall on a Saturday or Sunday, many people ask themselves the question: do direct debits come out on weekends? And if they don’t, when will the payment be taken? In this post, we’ll answer both those questions as well as delve into more detail surrounding what’s involved in Direct Debit.
What is a Direct Debit?
Direct Debits are usually used to pay out regular bills. While the payment amount may differ, the date of payment is usually fixed.
Direct Debits are favoured by banks, utility companies and many merchants because they allow them to take the exact amount they’re owed directly from a customer’s bank account, without having to chase them up for the payment.
However, naturally customers have to agree to this first, and are usually given advanced warning of a payment.
In short, Direct Debit is automated and allows merchants to retrieve payment directly from a customer’s bank account.
The process has two key features: 1) once given permission by the customer, the merchant initiates Direct Debit payments without intervention from the customer. 2) Cards are not involved in Direct Debits and all communication occurs directly between banks.
An example of a Direct Debit is a monthly rent payment paid out on the same date every month.
Can Direct Debits come out on a Saturday or Sunday?
So, what happens if your fixed payment date means your Direct Debit is due on Saturday or Sunday? Will the Direct Debit still come out? — In a word, no. The rules of Direct Debit state that payments are made on the same day each month, except when this date falls on a weekend or a public holiday, in which case it will be taken the following working day.
This means that, should your fixed payment date fall on a Saturday or Sunday, it will be taken on the following Monday (provided it is not a public holiday).
As this is standard practice, there will be no charge or penalty for this slight delay in payment, and the Direct Debit will still be carried out automatically. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is having the required funds still on your account a few days after the usual payment date.
Do Direct Debits come out on public holidays?
In addition to weekends, Direct Debits do not come out on Public Holidays. In Australia, these include the following dates for 2022:
Australia Day - 7th January
Good Friday - 15th April
Easter Monday - 18th April
ANZAC Day - 25th April
Queen’s Birthday - 8th June
Christmas Day - 25th December
Boxing Day - 26th December
Do standing orders come out at the weekend?
Direct Debit is customer authorisation for a merchant to collect money directly from their bank account. A standing order, on the other hand, is an instruction given by a customer telling their bank to pay a fixed amount at fixed intervals. The key difference is that with standing orders, the customer is entirely in charge of the amount and frequency of payments.
Just like with Direct Debits, however, standing orders are only processed on working days. So, in the case that the payment date falls on a weekend or public holiday, the payment will be made on the next working day.
Accepting Direct Debit through GoCardless
As GoCardless is an international specialist in online bank-to-bank payments, it’s ideal for businesses that wish to handle payments via Direct Debit. GoCardless handles the entire collection process for you, and you can manage payments in a range of different ways, from using the GoCardless online dashboard to taking advantage of one of the pre-built integrations with popular billing and accounting software providers like Xero or QuickBooks. If you wish, you can also create your own integration via the REST API.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.