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Glossary of UK Direct Debit terms

Chris Hooper
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Last editedMay 2022

Term Meaning More details
ADDACS messages Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation messages notify Service Users of amendments and cancellations made by their customers to their DDIs. Receiving messages from Bacs
Advance Notice Notice that must be given, under the Scheme rules, to customers of each payment before it leaves their account. Taking payments
ARUDD messages Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits messages notify Service Users of any unpaid Direct Debits. Receiving messages from Bacs
AUDDIS The AUtomated Direct Debit Instruction Service, through which all new direct Service Users must now submit requests to Bacs. Submitting to the banks
AUDDIS messages AUtomated Direct Debit Instruction Service messages notify Service Users of issues setting up or cancelling a Direct Debit Instruction. Receiving messages from Bacs
Bacs The clearing system that administers the Direct Debit scheme - all Direct Debit communications go through Bacs. Originally an acronym for "Bankers' Automated Clearing Services", you will sometimes see Bacs written as BACS. What is Direct Debit?
Bacs payment cycle All communications through Bacs operate on the Bacs three working day cycle. See timings for more information. Payment timings
Bacstel-IP The secure internet-based service provided by Bacs for communications between Service Users and Bacs. Submitting to the banks
Bacstel-IP software A Bacs approved software package must be used to communicate over Bacstel-IP. Submitting to the banks
Bureau An organisation that submits Direct Debit requests to Bacs on behalf of a 3rd party. A list of approved bureaux is published by Bacs. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Counter claim The claim raised by a Service User to dispute an indemnity claim from a customer. Counter claims must be made within 14 days of an indemnity claim being settled. Direct Debit Guarantee
DDICA messages Direct Debit Indemnity Claim Advice messages notify Service Users of indemnity claims from their customers. Receiving messages from Bacs
Direct Debit Guarantee The guarantee given on all payments made by Direct Debit. Direct Debit Guarantee
Direct Debit Instruction An authorisation from your customer to collect future payments automatically. To set up a DDI your customers must complete a standardised form. Direct Debit Mandates
Direct Debit Instruction form A paper form that customers must complete to authorise a Direct Debit Instruction to you. You can see an example here. Direct Debit Mandates
Direct Debit Mandate Alternative name for a Direct Debit Instruction. Direct Debit Mandates
Due date The date a payment is due to be debited from a payer's account. Payment timings
Facilities Management A service provided by a Bureau in which they submit payments to Bacs on behalf of a merchant under a Service User Number attached to a bank account owned by the bureau. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Indemnity Claim A request for a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee. Claims are assessed by the Payer's bank and funds are then recouped from the Service User automatically. Direct Debit Guarantee
Input file A file, in a standardised format, submitted to Bacs by Service Users to lodge new Direct Debit Instruction and payment requests. Submitting to the banks
Input report Every time a Service User submits payments or DDIs to Bacs, they receive an Input Report summarising the submission. Receiving messages from Bacs
Managed Administration A service provided by a Bureau in which they submit payments to Bacs on your behalf, under your own Service User Number. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Paperless Direct Debit Process for authorising a Direct Debit Instruction over the phone or online, instead of with a paper form. Direct Debit Mandates
Paying bank The bank or building society at which a customer's DDI is lodged. Taking payments
SEPA Direct Debit A single Direct Debit Scheme which applies across the whole Single European Payments Area. SEPA Direct Debit guide
Service User An organisation approved by a sponsor bank to submit Direct Debit requests to Bacs. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Service User Number (SUN) A 6 digit unique identifier issued to every Service User. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Sponsor Bank A bank that enables you to access the Direct Debit Scheme and provides you with a Service User Number. Getting Access to Direct Debit
Unpaid Direct Debits Payments which could not be collected from the customer's account, for a variety of reasons, including insufficient funds. Receiving messages from Bacs
Working Days Submissions to Bacs can only occur on working days, which exclude weekends and bank holidays. Bacs provide a definitive list of working days for the Direct Debit system. Payment timings

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