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What is a bankgiro number?

Chris Hooper
Written by

Last editedMay 20222 min read

A bankgiro number (known in Swedish as Bankgironummer) is an identifier for bank accounts in Sweden. All Autogiro collections must be associated with a bankgiro number and Bankgirot, the central clearing service for Autogiro, will use the bankgiro number to create a record of the transaction.

Banks will use the bankgiro number to determine the name to show on customer's bank statements. The bankgiro number is also used to find other details about the payment originator. If the customer later requests a refund for the payment, the bankgiro number associated with the payment will be used to identify the originator who is liable for the refund. In both cases, details are obtained from the Bankgirot database.

Having your own bankgiro number is a requirement to submit directly to Bankgirot. Merchants without their own bankgiro number can still submit indirectly using GoCardless' bankgiro number.

Getting a bankgiro number

A bankgiro number can be issued by banks in Sweden that are sponsored by Bankgirot. A list of approved banks can be found on the Bankgirot website. Each bank has a different application process for obtaining a bankgiro number but all of them will look for the following key requirements:

  • Management expertise to enforce the Autogiro scheme rules, to minimise submission errors, and to maintain the reputation of the scheme.

  • Contractual capacity to indemnify the sponsor bank against any refunds made.

Sponsorship decisions are ultimately at the discretion of each bank. In some cases, banks may also impose additional requirements in addition to those listed here.

Using GoCardless' bankgiro number

Organisations without their own bankgiro number can still submit to Bankgirot via GoCardless. This is known as submitting indirectly.

Indirect submissions are still attached to a bankgiro number. However, the bankgiro number will be owned by GoCardless. This may take one of two forms:

  • Facilities management via GoCardless - GoCardless will set up a bankgiro number on behalf of the merchant, but will own the bankgiro number. Customers will see the name of the merchant on their bank statements when payments are collected. Payments are collected into the GoCardless client monies account. GoCardless will then transfer any funds collected to your bank account within two working days.

  • Collection through aggregation - GoCardless is a Payments Institution regulated under the Payments Service Directive. A Payments Institution is able to collect payment under their own name with a single bankgiro number. These payments are then paid out to its clients. GoCardless allows merchants to customise part of the payment reference - this means the name of the merchant can be visible on customers' bank statements.

In either case, you won't need to go through a bank to get access to Autogiro. GoCardless satisfies the banking and scheme requirements as part of the service. With GoCardless, there are no upfront costs to collect payments by Autogiro. Also, as payments are collected under a single banking agreement, there are scale benefits which we pass on to our merchants.

To find out more about collecting Autogiro with GoCardless visit our website.

Similarities to SEPA and Bacs Direct Debit

The bankgiro number in Autogiro plays the same role as the Creditor ID in SEPA Direct Debit and the Service User Number in Bacs Direct Debit.

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