Direct Debit timings

Direct Debit is not an instant payment method. This section outlines timings associated with setting up payments, charging your customers and receiving your payout.


Please note timings below are industry standard for New Zealand Direct Debit. To view payment timings with GoCardless please visit our support centre.

It's also important to note that Direct Debit is not an instant payment method. Payments sent via BECS will take at least one working day to arrive in your bank account.

Direct Debit file exchanges

Banks exchange Direct Debit files with each other from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. These exchanges include all the required information for debiting the acceptor's (customer’s) account and crediting the initiator’s account.

File exchange cut off timings can vary from bank to bank. You’ll need to contact your bank for their specific timings. Other banks won’t receive files sent after the cut off time until the following day.

Once your bank receives the file, it sends the Direct Debit transactions via BECS to your customer’s bank. Your customer’s bank accepts the file and will then try to debit your customer’s account. If you’ve sent your file in by the cut off time, and payments are successful, then you’ll receive the funds in your account the next day.

Failure or dishonour reports

The bank will send you a dishonour report when you have a failed or dishonoured transaction. Some banks will tell you as soon as they find out (on the first day), especially in cases where the dishonour is due to insufficient funds, or ‘no authority loaded’. But the Direct Debit scheme rules actually give banks a window of three days to send out dishonour reports.

Direct Debit timeline

Although Direct Debit payments should reach your account by the next day, payment failure rules mean it can sometimes take up to 3 days to confirm that a Direct Debit payment has been successfully processed. You can see a general Direct Debit timeline below, however you can view GoCardless specific payment timings here.

  • Monday - File submitted to merchant’s bank
  • Monday - Merchant’s bank processes file and sends through BECS network
  • Monday - File available to the customer’s bank
  • Tuesday - Customer’s bank account debited
  • Tuesday - Merchant’s bank account credited
  • Tuesday - Customer’s bank send through file with any returns or refusals
  • Tuesday to Friday - The merchant’s bank receives notification of any failed payments
‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

How to set up Direct Debit – a guide for small businesses in Australia

In this guide we'll look at how Direct Debit can help your business. We'll cover the advantages and disadvantages and show you how you can quickly start accepting customer payments this way.

Cash collection causing headaches? 3 ways to automate the way you take payments

Processing, chasing and reconciling payments doesn't have be time consuming. In this guide, we compare three automated payment methods, and identify the pros and cons of each, to help you choose the right one for your business.

How to stop wasting time on cash collection: Five hacks for SMB owners

Sending out invoices, collecting payments and reconciling cash are time consuming tasks – costing SMBs 120 hours a year. In this guide, we’ve highlighted 5 hacks to help your cash collection process run more efficiently.

View all


Reference guides

View all