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Guide to Changing Standing Orders

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Last editedSep 20222 min read

If your business collects regular payments within certain countries, you might consider using standing orders. Yet sometimes payment needs to be changed over time, so once a standing order has been set up, how can it be changed? Here’s what you need to know about changing standing orders before you get started.

What are standing orders?

The standing order definition refers to a specific type of automated bank payment. Standing orders are set up by customers with their banks. The bank receives instructions to pay a business a fixed amount of money at regular intervals. This form of payment is used in several different countries including the UK, Ireland, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka. If you have a business account in any of these countries or sell to international customers, you might receive payment via a standing order.

Within the United States, it’s more common to receive ACH payments or recurring card payments for subscriptions, though checks can also be automatically mailed by the bank to a specified payee.

Steps for setting up standing orders

If you need to set up a standing order to make payment to another business, you’ll need to contact your bank directly. In countries where standing orders are common, such as the UK, this is easy to do either online or over the phone. The payer must complete a standing order form including the payee’s account number and sort code. They’ll also need to specify how much they wish to pay and for how long, because standing orders cover a specific period.

To receive payment via standing order from a participating country, all you need to do is inform your customer of the payment amount and due date. Control over payments remains in the payer’s hands, so you’ll need to simply wait for them to set up the payment with their own bank.

Steps for changing standing orders

As you can see, it’s simple to set up a standing order – but what happens when it needs to be changed? Again, as a merchant you’ll have to rely on the customer to act. Whether the amount or date of the payment needs to be changed, the customer needs to cancel the existing order and create a new one.

Standing orders can be amended using mobile banking, telephone banking, and online banking services. While processing times vary between banks, it usually takes at least three working days to amend any standing order online. This can sometimes be reduced if you visit a branch in person to amend your standing order.

Changing orders online or via the mobile app requires logging into your bank services. You can then select the “payments and transfers” section and choose standing orders” from the list of services. You should see a list of existing standing orders here. Select the relevant standing order that needs to be changed, and amend it according to online instructions. Press “Confirm” to finish the request. Some mobile banking services require users to register for biometric verification, such as Face ID, to use this type of service.

What is the opposite of a standing order?

The payer is in full control of setting up and changing standing orders. With a direct debit payment, the payee is the one who takes control. In this regard, you could see direct debit payments as the opposite of a standing order. Both can be used to take automatic payments, but direct debit payments are more beneficial for merchants because they choose the timing and value of payments. When payments become due, they can be collected directly from the customer’s bank account once a completed mandate form has been submitted.

GoCardless facilitates debit or ACH payments within the US, making it a more useful alternative to standing orders for US-based businesses. While standing orders only work for fixed payment amounts, direct debit payments offer greater flexibility and are far easier to change. This saves time and money for the merchant, with improved cash flow and reduced stress on both sides.

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GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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