This guide explains how Direct Entry User Identification Numbers 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.
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What is a Direct Entry User ID?
A Direct Entry User ID (sometimes also known as an APCA Number, BECS ID or BUDS ID) is a unique identifying number used by organisations collecting Direct Debit payments. All communications with BECS will use this ID, which is stored to create a record of the transaction.
Banks use the Direct Entry User ID to determine the correct name to show on customer bank statements. The User Identification Number will also be used to find other details about the originator. For example, if the customer files a Customer Claim that’s eligible for payment refund, the User ID is used to identify the originator who must pay the refund.
Having your own Direct Entry User ID is a requirement for submitting 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 Identification Number.
Getting a Direct Entry User ID
The APCA 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 Valid Claims
- 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 a Direct Entry User ID can still submit to banks through a third party. This is known as submitting indirectly.
Indirect submissions are still attached to a User Identification Number, but the Direct Entry User ID is owned by a third party. Collection happens in one of two ways:
- Through a Direct Debit provider, such as GoCardless: The provider sets up a Direct Entry User ID for each merchant, but owns all the identification numbers itself. The name on each User ID takes the form ‘Bureau re Client’ and payments are collected into a client monies account.
- Through aggregation: In this method, third parties can collect payments under their own name using a single Direct Entry User ID. These payments are then paid out to its clients.
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.
You should make sure your third party is compliant with Australia’s strict financial regulations. Bureaus may need an Australian Financial Services Licence to deal in non-cash payments, and may also be required to register with AUSTRAC on the Remitters register. They will also need to be registered with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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 banking agreement, there also are scale benefits which we pass on to merchants.
GoCardless uses a single User Identification Number to collect on behalf of our merchants. We can also obtain User Identification Numbers on behalf of merchants, so your business name will appear on customer bank statements.‹ View table of contents Next page ›