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Can you use Direct Debit for one-off payments?

Nabeel Qureshi
Written by

Last editedJun 20231 min read

We're frequently asked; can you use Direct Debit for one-off payments?

We still don’t recommend using Direct Debit for instant payments like e-commerce but for one-off payments where you don’t need the money immediately Direct Debit can be a great option.

One-Off Direct Debits

Direct Debit: a safe, easy and inexpensive way to collect one-off payments

  • Direct Debit is the safest payment method in the UK. The customer protection offered by the Direct Debit Guarantee is second to none - customers can get an instant "no questions asked" refund for any payments taken incorrectly.

  • Direct Debit is cheaper than using the card networks. Using credit or debit cards costs around 2-3% of the transaction amount + a flat fee of 20-30p. Direct Debit typically costs much less - GoCardless charges a simple fee per transaction with no hidden costs. (Read our comparison of Direct Debit vs Cards)

  • Direct Debit is convenient. If you collect one-off payments which are charged at a later date (e.g. if you invoice customers once the service or product has been delivered) using Direct Debit lets you set up the payment at the point of sale but then charge at the agreed date without the hassle of sending out invoices, chasing customers or banking cheques or cash.

How to collect payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule one-off or recurring payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

Get started in minutesLearn more

Use Cases for One-Off Direct Debits

  • Taking a first time payment - When a new customer signs up, take their first payment instantly before bank debit collections begin.

  • Easy invoicing - Collect one-off payments quickly by sending customers an invoice with an Instant Bank Pay link.

  • One-off charges for goods or services - Invite customers to purchase additional goods or services which can be paid for outside of their recurring payment, or follow-up on a failed payment.

  • Account top-up - Prompt your customers to instantly top-up their accounts with a one-off payment and continue to use your services.

Who else is using Direct Debit for one-off payments?

At GoCardless, we work with a lot of people using Direct Debit to collect all kinds of one-off payments, from companies like Buy Our HoneymoonCrowdfunder and Crowdcube to individuals collecting money for hen dos or stag dos.

Eliminate late payments and save time, money & stress collecting payments from your customers with Direct Debit via GoCardless.

Start Collecting Direct Debit Today!Learn More

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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